Salad dressing-to-garlic bread firm Lancaster Colony has booked an almost 20% fall in first-quarter profits.

The US firm, which makes a range of food, glassware and candles, yesterday (28 October) posted net income of US$22.8m for the three months to the end of September, a fall of 19.8% on a year ago.

Operating income from Lancaster Colony's food arm dropped 12% to $38m as margins were hit by higher ingredient, packaging and marketing costs. Lancaster Colony's non-food arm posted operating income of "about break-even", the company said.

However, net sales were up 4% at $265m. The foodservice channel boosted Lancaster Colony's food sales, which rose 2% to $220.5m.

Chairman and CEO John Gerlach said: "While we have successfully implemented price increases on a limited basis, we anticipate that margins will continue to see pressure from higher input costs. The weak economic environment also leaves consumer spending uncertain during our current second fiscal quarter, which is a seasonally important contributor to our full-year results."