US-based TreeHouse Foods, maker of private-label and branded pickles, said today (9 May) that first-quarter earnings were up on the back of higher revenues.

TreeHouse posted operating income of US$15.9m for the three months to the end of March. Net sales soared almost 50% on the back of the company's acquisition of soup and infant feeding business last year.

Net income, however, was flat, with TreeHouse publishing an earnings per share figure of $0.24, identical to the corresponding period a year earlier.

Chairman and CEO Sam Reed said "extraordinary increases" in input costs has weighed on the net figure.

Reed said: "We entered the year knowing that the significant run-up in input costs would put pressure on our margins until the full effects of our pricing actions were realized. Although the results are down from last year, we did achieve our internal targets and expect to see margin improvement beginning next quarter."