Smart Balance today (4 August) upped its full-year sales and earnings forecasts after it swung into the black in the first half of the year and acquired Canadian gluten-free firm Glutino Food Group.

For the six months to the end of June, the US company recorded a profit of US$6.9m compared to a net loss of $130.1m last year.

The firm also made an operating profit of $15m in the period, compared to a loss of $123m in the prior-year period. Sales edged up 0.5% to $118.7m.

Smart Balance said it now expects to grow net sales in the 10% to 12% range and cash operating income in the 12% to 14% range. The group had expected net sales to grow at a mid-single-digit rate and cash operating income to rise in the high single digits.

For the second quarter, Smart Balance made a profit of $3.3m compared to a loss of $133.1m last year, and an operating profit of $7.4m against a loss of $128.8m. Sales climbed 6% in the quarter to reach $59m.

Smart Balance CEO Stephen Hughes said a strong quarter and the acquisitionof Canadian gluten-free firm Glutino Food Group, which was announced yesterday, have both contributed to an improved outlook for 2011.

"In the quarter, net sales growth improved as the overall spreads category stabilised from the price increases initiated earlier in the year. Our enhanced milk initiative is achieving solid top-line growth. Earth Balance continues to perform well, with approximately 26% sales growth, driven by product innovation and continued strong performance from the natural channel."