Spanish food group Ebro Foods said today (26 April) that its strategy of “pursuing long-term sustainability” was paying off as it booked a 2% increase in first-quarter net profit.

Net profit at the pasta-to-rice group rose to EUR31.9m in the three month period. EBITDA was up 0.8%, reflecting increased advertising spend, rising to EUR64m.

Sales, however, were down 5% to EUR502m. Revenues where hit by lower selling prices in its pasta business, Ebro said.

The company insisted its higher profits showed that its strategic focus was paying dividends: “The consolidated earnings for the period confirm that we opted for the correct strategy in pursuing the long-term sustainability of the company with a business model based on differentiation and the search for profitability through the generation of synergies and transfer of know-how among the different companies within the group, geographical diversification, a strong commitment to brands, development of an advanced Quality and R+D policy and a firm commitment to the satisfaction of its customers and consumers.”

Manuel Gonzalez de Luna, Ebro’s director of investor relations, detailed the company’s strategic priorities in a recent interview with just-food. Gonzalez de Luna said that the company plans to build on recent success with the aim of doubling revenues over the next seven years. Click here to read the full interview.