CHICAGO - Still in the throes or restructuring, group net income at Sara Lee increased to $438 million (€364.4m; £248.5m) in its fiscal second quarter ended December 31, up year-on-year from $326m.
    Despite the 34% rise in quarterly earnings - thanks to the sale of the group's direct selling business to Tupperware - high commodity, packaging and energy costs dragged down operating income.
    By 2010 Sara Lee intends to have raised $3 billion by disposing of businesses that currently generate 40% of group sales. Despite this, ceo Brenda Barnes expects by 2010 to hike the 7.7% operating margin achieved for fiscal 2005 to 12%.