Post Holdings, the US breakfast cereal-to-peanut butter group, has narrowed its forecast for annual adjusted EBITDA, alongside first-quarter results that included flat sales and earnings affected by one-off items.

The company now sees its full-year adjusted EBITDA hitting US$920-950m – compared to an earlier forecast of $910-950m – “with modest favourability” to the second half of the year.

In the first quarter to 31 December, Post’s net earnings were $97.6m, compared to $25.5m a year earlier. Post’s bottom line was helped by $144.5m of non-cash mark-to-market adjustments and cash settlements on interest rate swaps.

Post’s operating profit fell year-on-year, declining 42.7% to $76.2m. The company pointed to a provision of $74.5m in legal settlements related to egg anti-trust claims.

Net sales inched up 0.1% to $1.25bn. Post said its sales fell 2.2% on a comparable basis due to a drop in sales from egg-to-potato products business Michael Foods, where sales slid by almost 8%.

The company’s Post Consumer Brands arm, which includes its ready-to-eat cereal business, reported a 2.2% rise in sales despite a 0.5% dip in volumes. Better sales from brands including Malt-O-Meal offset lower volumes from its co-manufacturing and government-bid business.

Post’s Active Nutrition unit, which includes sports nutrition brands like Premier Protein, saw sales jump 32.9%.

The company’s Private Brands division, made up by products including peanut butter and granola, reported flat sales.

Last Friday, Post was named by Reuters as one of four companies set to bid for UK-based breakfast cereal business Weetabix. Post has so far not commented on the reports.

Who will have their Weetabix? – just-food analysis