J & J Snack Foods has reported higher net earnings for the fourth quarter, helped by a 6% rise in sales.

Net earnings were US$9.9m, or $1.06 per share, for the quarter to 24 September, compared to $8.8m, or 96 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Sales were $129.8m compared to $122.5m a year earlier.

Sales for the full fiscal year to 24 September increased 10% to $457.1m. Full-year net earnings increased to $26.0m, or $2.80 per share, from $22.7m, or $2.48 per share, in fiscal 2004.

"In achieving our record year we benefited from solid sales in our fourth quarter and continued strong performance in our foodservice group. We also benefited from warm weather aiding our Icee and frozen dessert product line sales. Our company once again delivered consistent growth results despite the challenges impacting our product and distribution costs," Gerald Shreiber, J & J's president and chief executive officer.