Sara Lee posts profit despite rising commodity pricesDespite facing rising commodity and material prices, the Sara Lee Corporation posted a profit for the fourth quarter.

The company, based in Downers Grove, Illinois, is a manufacturer of a number of frozen and packaged foods and other goods, though it has recently been trimming back on some product lines to focus on its core food and beverage offerings. Recently, the prices for meat, wheat and coffee - components in many Sara Lee products - have been rising. The company has managed the price increases effectively and returned to profit in the fourth quarter.

"We showed substantial progress in developing our capabilities and laying the groundwork for future growth," Marcel Smits, the company's chief financial officer and acting chief executive, told the New York Times. "Our ongoing commitment to investing in our best brands and best ideas is paying off."

Sara Lee is now focusing on three core businesses - coffee, frozen bakery and branded meats, such as Hillshire Farms products. These three lines use a good deal of the commodities that are experiencing price increases.

Even so, the company earned $506 million in the last fiscal year. Its brands include Jimmy Dean, Ball Park and State Fair.
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