The JM Smucker Company posted a rise in quarterly profits of 29% today (16 February), aided by growing market share for its brands, price increases and a lower tax rate.

The Chicago-based maker of Jif peanut butter and Smucker's jelly posted third quarter profits of US$40.4m, or $0.71 per share, up from $31.3m, or $0.54 per share, for the comparable year-ago period.

Net income for the third quarter included pretax restructuring charges of $0.5m. Excluding the impact of restructuring charges, Smucker said earnings were $0.72 a share.

Net sales from continuing operations rose 6% in the quarter, excluding the contribution of businesses sold in September 2006 to last year's results, totalling $523.1m.

Smucker said that the increase was partially the consequence of price rises introduced to offset escalating costs.

"We achieved good results for the quarter with sales growth and share of market gains across most of our brands," commented Richard Smucker, president and co-chief executive officer. "Earnings grew at an even stronger rate, despite escalating raw material costs, as we are realizing the benefits of previous actions we have taken to offset cost increases and improve our overall profitability. We expect the cost environment to remain difficult and we will continue to take actions to mitigate the cost increases."

The company reiterated its goal to increase FY2007 EPS by 4% year-on-year, excluding one-time gains and charges.