Price increases has boosted half-year sales and earnings at US jam, jelly and peanut butter maker JM Smucker, the company said today (21 November).

Net sales increased 19% during the six months to 31 October, with acquisitions contributing around $66.8m of the increase. Excluding acquisitions, net sales increased 13%.

Net income rose 3% to $93.7m.

"The number of meals prepared and consumed at home, as recent market data indicate, continues to be trending upward in this challenging economic environment, and is currently at levels not seen since 1994," said Tim Smucker, chairman of the board and co-CEO.

Over the last year, JM Smucker said it has implemented price increases necessary to offset rising costs. While pricing was the primary driver of the net sales increase, volume gains also contributed.

Net income per diluted share for the first half of JM Smucker's fiscal year was $1.71, an increase of 8% over last year. The figure included restructuring and merger and integration costs of $0.13 and $0.05 per diluted share.

Excluding these costs, the company's income per diluted share was $1.84, an increase of 13%.

JM Smucker confirmed its outlook for the year, with net sales estimated to range from $3.8bn to $4bn, in line with the original estimate, and income per diluted share, before restructuring and merger and integration cost, are estimated to range from $3.45 to $3.50.