Hain Celestial, the US-based natural and organic group, has posted an increase in quarterly earnings on the back of rising sales.

The company, which owns brands including Earth's Best and Linda McCartney, saw operating profit rise 7.8% to $18.3m during the three months to the end of September. Net sales jumped 13% to $209.9m.

Hain Celestial president and CEO Irwin Simon claimed the company had enjoyed an "excellent start" to its financial year.

"We continue to sustain solid results from sales of our US brands in Canada, Europe and the UK, alongside the contributions from brands produced by our operations in those areas of the world," Simon said.

Margins rose during the first quarter from 28% to 29%, despite what Hain described as a "challenging, inflationary, cost environment".

In June, US share watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission, opened an investigation into share practices at Hain Celestial.

The inquiry has delayed the company's planned filing of its annual report for the last fiscal year. Hain Celestial appointed an independent panel to review the company's share procedures.

The company said that review is "substantially complete" but that it would wait to include the results of the review into the filing of its annual report.