Higher LIFO charges and sales depressed by lower prices have hit first-quarter profits at US canned fruit and veg firm Seneca Foods.

The company, which sells Green Giant products under licence from General Mills, booked net income of US$1.3m for the three months to 29 June, down from $7.9m a year earlier.

Operating income was $3.8m, against $14.3m a year ago. The LIFO charge stood at $3.8m versus $800,000 the year before.

Net sales inched up by only 0.5% to $232.1m, Seneca, which also owns the Libby's, Blue Boy and Aunt Nellie's Farm brands, said. A fall in prices and an "unfavourable" sales mix weighed on the top line.

Click here for the statement from Seneca.