• Net incomes increases 11.6%
  • Operating profit edges up 1.3%
  • Net sales grow 6.1%

US own-label firm TreeHouse Foods has booked an increase in first-quarter profits, boosted by price increases on products it sells to retailers in North America.

For the three months to the end of March, net income totalled US$22.1m, an 11.6% increase on the prior-year period. Operating profit edged up 1.3% to reach $45.3m.

Net sales in the quarter grew 6.1% to total $523.8m. Sales for the firm's North American retail grocery segment increased 7.2% to $379m as the company realised the benefits of increased pricing. Sales for the 'food away from home' segment rose 1.5% to $75.3 compared to last year, while the industrial and export segment showed growth of 5.5% to $69.5m.

"Although the macro environment for food manufacturers remained challenging, we are encouraged by our first-quarter results," said president and CEO Sam Reed. "We experienced continued softness in our cold weather products due to unseasonably warm weather; however, the remainder of our retail grocery portfolio performed very well."

Looking ahead, Reed said the company will maintain a "cautious stance" in the next two months as "weakness in the retail grocery environment persists". He forecast second-quarter results in line with the first three months of the year.

TreeHouse said it expects 2012 revenue growth "slightly below our original guidance of 8-9%", and reaffirmed its 2012 adjusted EPS guidance of $3 to $3.15.

Click here to view the full earnings release.