US snack food maker Lance has reported fourth-quarter net income of US$6.2m, or 21 cents per share, compared to net income of $5.9m, or 20 cents per share, for the year-ago period.

Net sales and other operating revenue were $149.4m for the 13 weeks ended 25 December 2004, compared to $141.0m in the same period last year.

"This was a solid finish to 2004," said Paul A. Stroup III, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

"We made significant progress realigning our route sales system and are on track to complete the realignments by April 2005. Consumers and retailers continue to respond favourably to our brand building activities and our private label sales outlook remains strong. While fuel and energy costs remain a concern, momentum is building and we are encouraged as we move into 2005," he added.

The company said it expects full year 2005 earnings to be in the range of 88 to 91 cents per share.