Natural and organic food producer Hain Celestial has reported a 29% rise in net turnover to US$195m in its fourth quarter ended 30 June, up from $151m in the year-ago period.

Price increases, focused efforts on premium brands, higher sales and cost cutting measures combined to drive net income of the maker of Terra Chips, Celestial Seasonings teas and other products to $8.8m or $0.22 per share, compared to $0.07 per share in the prior-year quarter.

The recent quarter included costs of 2 cents per share for stock-based compensation and a "stock keeping unit rationalisation programme," Hain said.

"In spite of a difficult economy with rising input costs, our approach is working and it has allowed us to accelerate our growth, increase our margins and introduce new, innovative products," Irwin D. Simon, president and CEO commented.

The company reported that both its antibiotic-free chicken joint venture Hain Pure Protein and its recently acquired UK fresh prepared foods operation reduced margins and were expected to continue to do so in the future.

It also announced the sale of its Biomarche business, a Belgium-based supplier of organic fruit and vegetables, to French organic produce distributor Pro-Natura. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Looking ahead, Hain announced fiscal year 2007 sales guidance of $880m to $900m, an increase of 19% to 22% over 2006 sales and earnings per share of $1.15 to $1.19 increasing 13% to 17% on existing business.