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Mar 12, 2013

General Mills announces 15 percent dividend increase

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Extends century-long dividend record

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - General Mills (NYSE: GIS) said today that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend payable May 1, 2013, and also approved a 15 percent increase in the dividend rate effective with the Aug. 1, 2013, payment.

The May 1, 2013, dividend of $0.33 per share will be payable to General Mills shareholders of record April 10, 2013. The Aug. 1, 2013, quarterly dividend of $0.38 per share will be payable to shareholders of record July 10, 2013. The company's new annualized dividend rate for fiscal 2014 of $1.52 represents a yield of approximately 3.3 percent at recent market prices for General Mills' common stock.

General Mills and its predecessor firm have paid shareholder dividends without interruption or reduction for 114 years. Few American companies can match this record of consistent cash return to shareholders.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Powell said, "The growth of our dividends over this long period of time is testimony to the resilience of General Mills' food businesses, our strong financial condition, and our company's commitment to delivering superior returns to our shareholders."

Over the most recent five fiscal years, General Mills dividends per share grew at an 11 percent compound rate. Total return to General Mills shareholders from stock price appreciation and dividends over the most recent five-year period has compounded at 14 percent per year. During this same period, the average annual return for the S&P 500 index was 6 percent.

The General Mills dividend increase announced today is the 14th increase in the quarterly rate since 2004.