Building on the sales and earnings momentum established in fiscal 2000, Sherwood Brands, Inc. (Amex:SHD), a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded confectionery products and gift items, announced on Friday (10 November) that it expects revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2001 ended Oct. 31, 2000 to increase more than 50% to approximately $19.5 million from $12.9 million a year earlier, and net income for the period to exceed the $1.0 million (before a one-time gain), or $0.27 per diluted share, reported for the first quarter of fiscal 2000. "With this strong start, and with new orders at an all-time high, we also currently expect sales for all of fiscal 2001 to be roughly 30% higher than last fiscal year's record $42.1 million, with improved profitability compared to last year. This growth is being driven by strong orders for all of our established product lines, as well as for our two newest products -- Fruit Burst(TM), a line of gourmet jelly beans, and Sherwood hard candies packed in attractive gift canisters," said Uziel Frydman, president and chief executive officer. Frydman noted that labor and other costs at all of the company's manufacturing facilities are meeting expectations, which is allowing Sherwood to efficiently manage production scheduling without having to resort to the costly measures that affected profitability in fiscal 2000. "We are constantly evaluating additional ways to lower our cost structure at the same time that we continue to grow revenue. For example, we have implemented programs designed to increase sales in the latter part of the fiscal year, which is seasonally the slowest period in our industry. The goal is to further improve production scheduling and resource utilization as sales rise, which should contribute to additional gains in profitability in the years ahead," Frydman added.