Canadian food and beverage group Lassonde Industries saw net income rise 7.3% for the third-quarter.

For the period ended 27 September, net earnings amounted to C$6.4m (US$5.4m), up C$0.4m over the same period in 2007.

Operating income rose from C$9.5m in the third quarter to $10.2m in the comparable period of 2008, up 8%.

However, while operating income did increase, profit margin fell from 9.6% in 2007 to 8.2% in 2008. The drop was due to higher transportation costs caused by rising fuel prices during the quarter. It was also affected by targeted initiatives undertaken to promote some of the company's products.

Lassonde recorded net sales of C$124.9m period, a 27.3% increase over over the same quarter in 2007. More than half (51%) of the increase comes from the net sales of two acquisitions completed at the end of 2007.

"Despite adverse economic conditions and their impact on our operating costs, Lassonde Industries has met its business objectives and maintained a healthy rate of growth" said Pierre-Paul Lassonde, chairman of the board and CEO.

The company cited the recent weakening of the Canadian dollar as a source of concern for the last quarter of 2008. Lassonde said it will continue to rely on marketing initiatives and investments designed to "improve production processes and organisational efficiency to maintain its profitability and sound financial results".