US food products company Sysco Corp has posted an 18% rise in fourth-quarter net income, beating analysts' expectations, helped by rising food and food product prices.

The food service distribution firm posted net income of US$242.7m, or 37 cents a share, compared with $205.9m, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had forecast earnings of 35 cents a share, reported Dow Jones Business News.

Sysco's sales rose 11% to $6.97bn, compared to $6.31bn a year earlier.

The company said net income for its full fiscal year was $778.3m, or $1.18 a share, compared to $679.8m, or $1.01 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.16 a share.

Full-year sales were up 12% to $26.14bn.