Singapore-listed food manufacturer Food Empire Holdings has reported a 34.8% rise in first-quarter group profit after tax to S$3.9m (US$2.3m).

The company said strong earnings came on the back of continued sales growth, as revenue rose 26.0% to S$37.0m. Group net profit was also boosted by improved operating margins, Food Empire said.

The group said its intensified efforts in brand building and strategic expansion in its core markets last year were rewarded in the first quarter as sales achieved double-digit increases in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.