Del Monte Foods has seen sales and profit growth accelerate in its fourth quarter, as pricing actions and cost savings benefitted the canned food group.

Fourth quarter net sales increased 20.7%, to US$1.05bn, while full-year sales were up 14.1%, to $3.63bn, the company said today (11 June).

Sales gains reflected top-line growth, which was driven primarily by pricing actions taken to recoup some of the inflationary cost-driven margin contraction. Volume growth also contributed to the results, reflecting growth in existing product volume and new product volume in both the consumer and pet businesses, Del Monte suggested.

Income from continuing operations for fiscal 2009 totalled $1.48bn, or $0.74 EPS, compared to $1.17bn, or $0.58 EPS in the previous year.

Chairman and CEO Richard Wolford said that the result was "a direct reflection" of the company's "successful" Accelerated Growth Plan.

"The exceptionally strong topline results were balanced across both the pet and consumer businesses and reflect the increasing momentum behind our brands following a step change increase in marketing support, the success of our pricing actions taken to recoup margins following several years of aggressive cost pressures, as well as the performance of our products in challenging economic times," he commented.