Long Island City, NY-based Urbani Holdings, one of the largest US distributors of gourmet food items, has posted operating income of US$131,978 for its Q1 ended 31 March 2002, up 183% from US$46,720 year on year.

Q1 gross margin, as a percent of sales, improved to 31.4% versus 26.4% last year, and net income were US$53,098 versus US$6,475 last year.

Net sales of US$3.2m were down from US$3.4m in 2001 due to a shipment delay from its principle truffle supplier, but president Rosario Safina insisted "we have implemented controls and diversified our supply chain, which we believe will mitigate future delays from our suppliers".

Safina added: "Despite shipment delays from our truffle supplier, sales of other products increased 11% over the Q1 last year."

"During the Q1, we also achieved several enormous milestones. First, we have entered into agreements to supply two of the top three leading wholesale clubs in the US. These contracts will dramatically increase our revenues and expand our market penetration.

"Second, we continue to broaden our product line, as evidenced by an increase of 100 new items in the last year alone. We were also the first importer and distributor to introduce an organic line of meats cut to order from European Species Animals raised in the US."

Safina concluded: "Looking ahead, we are aggressively expanding our sales efforts through strategic alliances and appearances at trade shows across the country."