US food company Del Monte Foods has posted a fall in quarterly profit, hit by lower sales and higher marketing costs.

The San Francisco-based company reported net income of US$14.3m, or 7 cents a share, for the first quarter to 27 July, compared to reported profit of $33.2m, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier.

Adjusting for one-time items, including the company’s acquisitions of several brands from H J Heinz last year, Del Monte reported profit of 9 cents a share, compared with 18 cents a year earlier.

Del Monte, which makes Starkist tuna, said its sales fell to $631.3m, compared to adjusted sales of $663.1m a year earlier.