Israeli food importer G Willi-Food International said it has had a “robust” first quarter, driven by improved sales volume in its domestic market.

For the quarter ended 31 March, net income attributable increased 18.7% to NIS7.3m (US$2m).

Sales rose 15.5% to reach NIS95m. The increase was driven by the introduction of new products as well as increased awareness of the Willi-Food brand in the Israeli market following a national media campaign launched during the quarter.

Operating income for the quarter increased by 38.3% to reach NIS10.5m.

Zwi Williger, president and COO of Willi-Food, said: "We are very pleased to report a robust first quarter with gross profit up 40%. Our strong performance in the quarter was driven by expanded sales volume in the Israeli market as a result of our nationwide media campaign launched in the first quarter and aimed at broadening awareness of our brand.”

Williger said the firm will continue to pursue “strategic distribution partnerships” to enable it to further penetrate the US markets.