A shopper chooses a bag of Blue Buffalo dog food in a pet food store in New York.

Richard Levine | Corbis via Getty Images

General Mills‘ quarterly profit beat Wall Street expectations on Wednesday as the Cheerios maker benefited from higher demand for its pet foods, sending its shares up 3%.

The maker of Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms acquired Blue Buffalo Pet Products for $8 billion last year in a push to capitalize on growing demand for pet food.

Sales at its pet unit rose 16% in the quarter, helped by price increases and the recent rollout of Blue Buffalo products in Walmart stores.

Adjusted gross margins rose 80 basis points to 35.3%.

Net earnings attributable to the company rose 69% to $580.8 million in the second quarter ended Nov. 24, as it recorded impairment and restructuring costs of $209.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding items, the company earned 95 cents per share, beating analysts’ expectations of 88 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net sales rose to $4.42 billion from $4.41 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $4.43 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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