US snack cake maker Tasty Baking co has reported a fall in net income to $0.479m in the first quarter ended 26 March, compared with $0.483m in the same period a year ago.

Gross sales were to $65.9m, compared with $68.4m in the year earlier period, but net sales, (sales less discounts and allowances) rose to $41.2m, compared with $40.4m.

"The net sales growth on lower sales volume demonstrates the effectiveness of our pricing and promotional strategy," said senior vice president and chief financial officer David S. Marberger. "We also continue to see improvement in the company's gross margins, despite increases in gas and fuel oil expense, which are currently affecting the entire industry."

"We are seeing improvement in the financial results of the business as we execute our strategic transformation plan," said president and CEO Charles P. Pizzi. "The net sales growth of 1.7% in the first quarter is the best quarter of net sales growth since the third quarter of 2001."