United Natural Foods has raised its full-year forecast on the back of a "solid performance" during the first half.

The US distributor of natural, organic and speciality foods said yesterday (3 March) that it would raise its net sales guidance to a range of between US$4.4-4.5bn against an earlier forecast of $4.35-4.45bn.

The group said that for the first half, net income was up 15.8% to $36.3bn, while net sales rose 21.6% to $2.17bn.

"Building off of the success we achieved during fiscal 2010, UNFI has continued to gain market share and incremental business during the first half of fiscal 2011, leveraging our fully integrated speciality offering and our strategic expansion into Canada," said president and CEO Steven Spinner.

For the second quarter, net income was up 19.6% to US$18.7m, while sales rose 24.1% to $1.1bn.

"In the fiscal 2011 second quarter, we experienced an acceleration of our comparable sales growth to 14.3%, reflecting the sustained strength of the industry across all of our customer channels," added Spinner.