updated 3/23/2006 8:15:19 AM ET 2006-03-23T13:15:19

General Mills Inc., the nation’s second-largest cereal maker, said Thursday its third-quarter profit rose 7 percent, beating Wall Street estimates as all its business segments posted improved sales.

The company, whose brands include Cheerios and Wheaties, said net income grew to $246 million, or 68 cents per share, from $230 million, or 58 cents per share, a year ago. Both quarters included a restructuring charge of 1 cent per share, while the prior year was lowered by 15 cents per share for accounting and expense matters.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $2.86 billion from $2.77 billion last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings per share of 65 cents on revenue of $2.85 billion.

Despite the increase in profit, the Minneapolis-based company said earnings for the latest quarter were restrained by higher costs for commodities, fuel, employee benefits and advertising.

The company reiterated its full-year outlook of earnings of $2.80 to $2.85 per share. Analysts estimate earnings per share of $2.91.

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