US frozen food group Pinnacle Foods Finance has swung to a first-quarter profit in 2010 as its acquisition of Birds Eye Foods in November started to contribute to results.

Pinnacle, which bought Birds Eye Foods for US$1.3bn, posted net earnings of $3.9m in the first quarter of the year - compared to a loss of $2.1m a year earlier.

The company saw sales jump more than 53% on the back of the Birds Eye Foods deal to $656.4m in the three months to 28 March.

Excluding the impact of the Birds Eye Foods acquisition, first-quarter net sales were flat, although Pinnacle said branded retail sales rose 4%.

Pinnacle added that net sales from its speciality foods division declined 15% "in line with the company’s strategic initiative to de-emphasise lower margin foodservice and private label products".