US food manufacturer Bob Evans Farms has reported a 27% rise in first-quarter sales.

And operating income was also markedly up on 2017’s figure.

The New Albany, Ohio business, made up of the manufacturing operations left after it sold its restaurant business to US private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital earlier this year, posted net sales of US$109.3m in the three months ended 28 July. 

Adjusted EBITDA increased 38.3% to $19.5m, while operating income increased to $11.1m in the first quarter compared to operating income from continuing operations of $8.3m in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. 

The increase in net sales was partially driven by $8.6m of sales from the company’s recently acquired Pineland Farms potato products business, as well as $5.2m of sales to Bob Evans Restaurants, which were eliminated in the prior year.

On the back of the positive figures, Bob Evans Farms is raising its fiscal year 2018 guidance. It is now expecting net sales of $480m, at the midpoint of its range, and adjusted EBITDA of $107m.

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Speaking about the first-quarter performance, CEO Mike Townsley said: “We are very pleased with the strong start to the fiscal year, delivering significant volume growth in both refrigerated side dishes and sausage during the first quarter.

“We continued to grow household penetration of refrigerated sides and increased market share by 250 basis points from the year-ago period. With the additional capacity and product capabilities provided through the acquisition of Pineland Farms on May 1, 2017, we are well positioned to continue driving robust growth of our refrigerated sides portfolio.”