Spanish canned-food group Calvo has posted a 292% jump to €4.07m (US$5.27m) in first-quarter operating profits, boosted by higher sales in Spain and Latin America.

Moreover, the company expects sales to reach €330m this year after they rose "strongly" in 2004 when Calvo acquired Brazilian rival Gomes da Costa for
US$50m, helping it muscle in key Latin American markets.

Without GDC's acquisition, Calvo's sales would have risen only 4%, Calvo's general manager Ramon Calvo said.

Calvo said 2005 sales will be bolstered by the expected strong performance of its business in Spain, Italy and Portugal, and its new line of low-salt products. The company will double this year's investment to €4m.

Calvo sells premium canned tuna in Spain and is billed as the world's fifth-largest tuna processor.