US snack food maker J & J Snack Foods has reported a 36% rise in net earnings for the first quarter to 25 December, boosted by a 23% rise in sales.

The company said sales increased to US$98.5m in the latest quarter from $79.9m a year earlier, while net earnings increased to $2.5m, or 27 cents per share, from $1.8m, or 20 cents per share, last year.

"We benefitted from strong sales gains and improved profitability in our foodservice and retail supermarket business during the quarter. We anticipate continued growth from the introduction of new products, continued expansion to new channels of distribution and possible acquisitions," said Gerald Shreiber, president and CEO.