Sales increased 16 per cent in the US retail segment snack division of its US retail segment in the company's first fiscal quarter, particularly for Nature Valley grain snacks, Fiber One bars and fruit snacks. "Our continuing growth reflects broad-based sales momentum, and even stronger operating profit growth despite challenging input-cost inflation and increased consumer marketing investment to build our brands," said the company's chairman, Steve Sanger. Total net sales for General Mills for the 13 weeks ended 26 August grew 7 per cent to $3.07bn (€2.2bn), with segment operating profit up 9 per cent to $578m (€414m). Net sales for the US retail segment increased 6 per cent to $2.03bn and operating profits rose 6 per cent to $473m, the company said. Within this segment, net sales for the baking products division rose 7 per cent and 6 per cent in the Pillsbury USA division. General Mills said this was particularly due to gains in Totino's frozen pizza and snacks, and Pillsbury refrigerated dough products. Big G cereal net sales increased by 5 per cent, and 3 per cent for the Yoplait division, particularly due to the new probiotic yogurt, the company said. However, General Mills noted sales were down 4 per cent for the organic foods division compared to the 34 per cent sales growth of first quarter 2007. Net sales for the company's International segment increased 19 per cent to $599m while operating profit for the segment grew 27 per cent to $71m. However in the bakeries and foodservice segment, sales were down 1 per cent to $441m, which General Mills said was due to "the absence of businesses divested during the past year", although operating profit was up 17 per cent to $34m.