Shares in Alpro owner WhiteWave Foods jumped today (13 February) after the US group reported a jump in underlying earnings.

WhiteWave booked a 24% rise in adjusted net income to US$39m for the three months to the end of December. Adjusted operating income was up 27% at $61m. 

The company reported adjusted numbers to exclude items related to its separation from US dairy giant Dean Foods. The figures also strip out a write-down on a soy-based meat-alternative business in the Netherlands WhiteWave said today it plans to sell.

On an adjusted basis, net sales in the quarter were up 11% at $679m. WhiteWave said the increase in sales was "primarily volume-driven".

Over 2013 as a whole, WhiteWave's adjusted net income was up 24% at $129m. Its GAAP net income was down 14% at $97m. Adjusted operating income also fell 14%, sliding to $155m. Annual GAAP net sales were up 11% at $2.54bn.

"Our fourth quarter and full year 2013 results reflect continued strong organic growth across all our businesses, chairman and CEO Gregg Engles said.

"In addition to creating the infrastructure for an independent company in 2013, we also out-performed our expectations. All of us at WhiteWave are proud of our results to date and expect to build on what we’ve already accomplished."

WhiteWave expects net sales to jump at a rate "in the high twenties" in 2014 on the back of organic growth and its acquisition of US organic food firm Earthbound Farms.

The company expects to deliver adjusted diluted earnings per share of between $0.90 and $0.94 for full year 2014, excluding investments in its recently-announced joint venture in China with Mengniu Dairy.

Shares in WhiteWave Foods were up over 8% at $25.68 at 11:15 ET.