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Canada-based food and drinks Lassonde Industries has reported rising first-quarter profits despite a decline in sales from its brands putting pressure on its top line.

Lassonde, which has a range of brands including Canton fondue sauces and Sunbites corn-on-the-cob, generated a net profit of CAD13.1m (US$9.6m) in the three months to 1 April, up from CAD13m a year earlier.

However, Lassonde’s operating profit fell from CAD27.4m in the first quarter of 2016 to CAD23.7m in the opening quarter of its current financial year.

The drop in operating profit came from an increase in the cost of orange concentrate and from lower sales.

Lassonde’s first-quarter sales hit CAD370.7m, down from CAD386.5m in last year’s first quarter. Exchange rates trimmed CAD8.3m from the company’s sales. Excluding foreign exchange, sales were down 1.9%, which Lassonde said was “largely due” to a decrease in the sales volumes from its brands. The company did report an increase in sales of private-label products.

“For the first quarter of 2017, our sales and operating profit are in line with expectations despite lower national brand sales in the United States. Barring any significant external shocks, we remain confident in achieving slightly higher sales in 2017 than in 2016,” chairman and CEO Pierre-Paul Lassonde said.

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By GlobalData