Jimmy Dean owner Hillshire expects Tyson takeover to be finalised by the end of next month

Jimmy Dean owner Hillshire expects Tyson takeover to be finalised by the end of next month

US food group Hillshire Brands, set to be taken over by meat giant Tyson Foods, has reported a year of increasing sales and profits.

The owner of Jimmy Dean meats posted adjusted income from continuing operations of US$224m for the year to 28 June, US$184m a year earlier.

Adjusted operating income hit US$387m for the year to 28 June, growing from US$297m the previous year.

Net sales increased 4.2% to US$4.09bn.

"I am pleased with our results for fiscal year 2014, which culminated in a very strong fourth quarter," president and CEO Sean Connolly said. "Despite acute cost inflation, we delivered better than expected performance through a disciplined approach to brand building, pricing and cost management."

He added: "We have been working closely with the Tyson team to plan out the successful integration of the two companies and look forward to executing the merger."

On Tuesday, Tyson and Hillshire were asked for more information on the deal by the US Department of Justice. The requests "relate only to a very small portion of the combined business", Hillshire said. It added both companies expect the deal to be completed by 27 September.

Tyson fought off rival bidder Pilgrim's Pride, the US poultry processor, to secure agreement to buy Hillshire for US$8.55bn.

Hillshire's acceptance of the bid meant it walked away from its move made weeks earlier to buy fellow US food group Pinnacle Foods.