J & J Snack Foods, the US firm, has reported flat first-quarter profits despite higher sales due to higher costs in its frozen beverages business.

Sales for the period to 25 December increased 4% to $155.6m, J&J said yesterday (20 December).

However, net earnings were $7.1m in the current quarter compared to $7.1m last year. Earnings per diluted share were also static, standing at $0.38 for the first quarter compared to $0.38 last year. Operating income, meanwhile, decreased 5% to $11m.

Gerald Shreiber, J&J's president and CEO, said: "Our businesses, with the exception of our frozen beverages business, had a strong quarter. Our frozen beverages business which includes Icee, Arctic Blast, Slush Puppie and Parrot Ice was impacted by higher expenses."