General Mills Inc , maker of Cheerios cereal and Progresso soup, on Wednesday reported a higher quarterly profit, helped by a surge in international sales.

Net income was $392.1 million, or 59 cents per share, in the fiscal third quarter that ended February 27, compared with $332.5 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

Overall sales rose 1.6 percent to $3.65 billion.

General Mills said it expects inflation for the items used to make its products to be higher in 2012 than the 4 percent to 5 percent increase expected this year.

General Mills reaffirmed its outlook for net sales growth in the single low-digit percentage range and for earnings per share of between $2.46 and $2.48 this fiscal year.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Maureen Bavdek)