Sara Lee Corp., the US food giant, has seen third-quarter profits rise on the back of higher sales from its bakery business.

The company reported adjusted operating income of US$249m for the three months to 29 March, up from $242m a year earlier.

Underlying net revenue rose 4.3% to $3.2bn thanks to higher bakery sales at home and abroad and better beverage sales overseas.

"The third quarter marks the continuation of the strong sales trends that we have seen all year," said chairman and CEO Brenda Barnes.

Bakery sales in North America rose 11% thanks to higher selling prices. Higher prices also boosted turnover from Sara Lee's international bakery business, which rose 18.9% to $231m.

Sales from Sara Lee's meats business in North America rose 2%.