Apparel, food and household products conglomerate Sara Lee has posted a fall in second quarter net earnings to $312 million from $348m in the same period a year ago.

The Chicago-based company, which operates the Champion athletic apparel and Hanes underwear brands, also reported a 5.1 per cent year-on-year rise in sales to $5.02 billion for the quarter.

Unit volume, meanwhile, fell three per cent year-on-year for the three-month period.

According to the company, international sales for the second quarter were boosted by the weakness of the dollar against the euro.