US food group Hormel Foods posted a 22% increase in full-year profit today (24 November), boosted by contributions from all five of its business segments.

For the twelve months ending 25 October, net earnings reached US$342.8m from $285.5m. Sales, however, were down 3% to $6.53bn on the prior year.

"Having returned to more normal earnings growth levels this year, we are confident in our ability to continue to enhance our bottom line," said Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO. "We intend to tackle the challenge of a continued weak economy and reduced consumer spending, and expect to restore top-line growth on an annualised basis in 2010."

The company set its fiscal 2010 guidance range at $2.63 to $2.73 per share.

Operating income for the 52-week period rose to $342.8m from $285.5m in 2008.

The company raised its annual dividend to 84 cents a share from 76 cents.