Martek Biosciences has posted an increase in first-quarter profits, boosted by a strong growth in the company's core infant formula business.

For the quarter ending 31 January, the health and nutritional supplements maker posted a net income of US$9.6m compared with $8.7m a year ago.

Revenues for the first quarter were $87.4m, up 5% from $82.9m in the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

CEO Steve Dubin said: "Despite the troubling economy, Martek's first-quarter results showed both revenue and bottom line growth reflecting the strength of our core infant formula business, growing consumer awareness of the health benefits of DHA beyond infant formula markets and the continued execution of our business plan.

"While the current economy continues to present challenges for Martek as well as other businesses, I believe Martek continues to be well-positioned to deliver both revenue and profit growth in 2009."

Martek said it expects a second-quarter profit of 27 cents to 31 cents a share, on revenue between $87m and $92m.

Net income for the second quarter is projected to be between $8.9m and $10.3m.