Thai seafood exporter Thai Union Frozen Products has said it expects net profit in the first quarter to increase by at least 20% over the year-ago period.

“Our company expects to grow by a minimum of 15% in sales and by 20% in profit,” Thiraphong Chansiri, the company’s president was quoted as saying by Dow Jones International News.

He said demand for the company’s tuna products had grown since the beginning of the year, while restructuring at its US-based Chicken of the Sea International unit had helped to cut costs.

The growth is also helped by a poor performance in the first quarter of last year when the company was hit by fierce competition and foreign exchange losses.

Last year the company reported first quarter net profit of Bt304.6m (US$7.1m).