Swiss ingredients firm AAK has booked an increase in first-quarter earnings and said it remains “prudently optimistic” for the future.

Earnings in the three month period amounted to SEK157m (US$23.8m), an 11% increase on the prior year period. Operating profit reached SEK242m from SEK220m last year, after a negative currency translation impact of SEK6m.

Net sales, however, dropped 5% to SEK4.01bn due to lower raw material prices and the negative impact of currency translation.

“Based on AAK’s customer value propositions for health and reduced costs, our customer product co-development and solutions approach, and the AAK Acceleration programme, we continue to remain prudently optimistic for the future,” said CEO Arne Frank.