California-based sauce group Armanino Foods of Distinction has seen a hike in raw materials costs hammer its first-quarter earnings.

Armanino, which produces a range of pestos and sauces, saw operating income reach US$48,717, down from $216,978 a year earlier.

Nevertheless, the company managed to increase sales with revenue up almost 10% to $4.1bn.

President and CEO William Armanino blamed "significant increases" in raw material costs for the tumble in profits. He added: "The first quarter is traditionally our slowest quarter of the year in terms of sales and profitability. We have just recently instituted a price increase which will help our earnings going forward."