US food company Monterey Gourmet Foods has reported a profit for the first quarter ended March 27, 2005 of $17,000 on net revenues of $17.6m.

This compares with a net loss of $481,000 same period last year, on net revenues of $16.4m.

"Operating profit was $102,000, an improvement of $800,000 when comparing the first quarter 2005 with the first quarter 2004," said Jim Williams, president and CEO. "These improvements are the result of our efforts to re-energize our core pasta/sauce line, diversify our product line, and reduce operating costs. We believe our strategy to diversify our Company is having a positive impact on our financial results. Our most recent acquisitions combined represented 35% of total revenues for the quarter."

"Earnings for the first quarter were lowered by continuing high raw material costs, although we are now seeing softening in some key ingredient costs," he said.

"We are pleased to report that Monterey Pasta branded sales in the retail supermarket channel, a key area of focus for our company, increased 11% in the quarter," he said. "The initial success of our new Whole Wheat line contributed to this increase."

"With the positive momentum from our first quarter, our goal is to stay the course and achieve higher profitability in the coming quarters," he said.