B&G Foods has revealed that its revenues during the first nine months of the year were dented by a poor maple syrup crop, which resulted in a global shortfall of maple syrup.

Sales for the first three quarters of fiscal 2009 increased by 3.8% to US$365.4m, from $352m last year.

However, the US company emphasised that net sales of its Maple Grove Farms pure maple syrup decreased by $2.8m because of a shortage of supply. Excluding maple syrup sales, revenues would have increased by 5.1%.

Gross profit for the first three quarters of 2009 increased 12.7% to $111.8m from $99.2m last year. Operating income increased 22.3% to $66.7m during nine-month period. .

Profit gains accelerated in the third quarter, with gross profit for the three month period up 17.9% to $36.2m. Third quarter operating income gained 29.4% to $21m during the period.

"As expected, our business continued to improve substantially over prior year results in the third quarter," David Wenner, president and chief executive, said.

"We continued to improve our trade spending efficiency and increase net sales for certain key brands in our portfolio, while also benefiting from reduced costs for wheat and maple syrup. We believe our brands are well positioned in the current economic environment."