US food manufacturer Hormel Foods Corporation today rises in sales and earnings for the second quarter ended 1 May 2005.

Second quarter net earnings were $55.8m, up from $53.7m a year earlier. Sales totalled $1.3bn, up from $1.1bn in fiscal 2004.

For the six months ended 1 May 2005, net earnings were $120.3m compared to $105.5m a year ago. Sales totaled $2.6bn, up from $2.3 billion in the same period last year.

"Our turkey business was the clear stand-out in the quarter," said Joel W. Johnson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "A combination of continued value-added sales growth, higher turkey meat markets, lower grain markets and efficiencies in our production facilities all contributed. We expect this same operating environment for the rest of the year."

"The Grocery Products and Refrigerated Foods segment margins were pressured because of higher pork and beef raw material costs compared to last year. Nonetheless, we increased advertising and promotional spending during the quarter to strengthen our position in the market going forward," Johnson said.

"We are making good progress integrating the three acquisitions that were announced during the second quarter, Mexican Accent, Mark-Lynn Foods and Lloyd's Barbeque Company. These businesses fit our strategies to grow our ethnic and Foodservice businesses, and bring value-added products to the meat case. The contributions from these businesses are expected to accelerate in the second half of the year," he said.