Brazilian cookie, cracker and pasta maker M. Dias Branco has said that its first-quarter results were "significantly better" than a year ago.

While increased wheat and vegetable oil prices squeezed the group's margins, the company said it reduced labour, wrapping, depreciation, administrative expenses and selling costs.

Net revenue increased 17% year-on-year driving a 34.1% increase in net income, which rose from BRL16.7m (US$9.91m) a year ago to BRL22.4m for the first quarter of this year. Adjusted net income increased to BRL46.2m, up 28.7%.

"Our figures reflect the company's efforts and competence in the management of costs and expenses," the company said.

On 7 April M. Dias Branco announced the acquisition of Indústria de Alimentos BomGosto Ltda., owner of the Vitarella brand. This deal boosted M. Dias Branco's Brazilian market share to 21.3% in the pasta segment and 19.3% in the cookie and cracker segment.