Japanese snacks group Calbee has booked an increase in annual profits after rebuilding operations in the wake of last year’s earthquake and nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

The company said its net income rose 66.8% to JPY7.09bn (US$89m) in the 12 months to 31 March. In the previous year, Calbee had registered an extraordinary loss of JPY2.16bn due to the damage caused by the earthquake.

Operating income was up 14.3% to JPY12.24bn. Sales were up 5% to JPY163.27bn.

Calbee said demand for snacks in Japan declined after the earthquake but regained momentum in July as prices in the category came to be viewed as “more reasonable”.

The company said improved sales were driven by a focus on innovation, with gains in its domestic market share driven by the introduction of Vegips and “several” limited-edition regional and seasonal products. Internationally, Calbee expanded its route-to-market in the US and entered into a joint venture with South Korea’s Haitai Confectionery.

Looking to the coming year, Calbee predicted that it would continue its rebound, with net profit expected to climb a further 5.7% to JPY7.5bn.

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