Grupo Nacional de Chocolates, Colombia’s largest food company, reported net profit of COP64bn (US$36m) in the first quarter of this year, a 53% increase that the group attributed to expansion of its international operations.

Chocolates’ first quarter sales rose 14% to COP877bn, 14% from the same period last year, the company said in a filing to the Colombian securities regulator yesterday (30 April).

EBITDA increased 28% to COP134.6bn, the company said.

Chocolates said the sales growth was the consequence of a strong performance from its international sales, which were up 38%. International sales now account for 25.3% of the company’s total sales, the company added.