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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

More Dinners at Home Help Food Companies

To save money, consumers are going to restaurants less and eating at home more. And that's helping food companies stay afloat.

General Mills, which makes Hamburger Helper and Progresso Soup, posted a profit for the quarter ended Nov. 23. The company said it earned $378 million, or $1.14 a share, a 3 percent drop from $390 million, or $1.19 a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 8 percent, to $4.01 billion.

In a news release, chief executive Ken Powell said, “The economic environment is challenging, but our brands are a good fit with consumers’ need for great-tasting, healthy, convenient foods at good value."

ConAgra, which owns the Heathy Choice and Chef Boyardee brands, also saw a profit, albeit a smaller one. The company says it earned $168.1 million, or 37 cents a share, for the quarter ended Nov. 23. That's down from $244.8 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 10.6 percent, to $3.26 billion from $2.95 billion.

--Kim Hart

By Kim Hart  |  December 17, 2008; 2:50 PM ET
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