B&G Foods, a manufacturer and distributor of high-quality shelf-stable food products, has posted a 12.1% increase in net sales for the first quarter boosted by last year’s Cream of Wheat acquisition.

Net sales for the thirteen weeks ended 29 March rose to US$116.3m from $103.7m for the same period last year.

The Cream of Wheat acquisition accounted for $11.7m of the net sales increase offset by a decrease in net sales of $0.8m relating to the termination of a temporary co-packing arrangement.

Net income increased 8.2% to $4.4m, compared to $4.1m for the first quarter of 2007. The company also saw an increase in gross profit of 6.9% to $34.9m from $32.7m for the same period last year.

“The Cream of Wheat business continued to perform well for us in the first quarter, helping us achieve double-digit growth in net sales and EBITDA,” said David Wenner, CEO of B&G Foods. “Cost increases were within the range of our expectations; our March price increases should help to offset these costs as the year progresses.”

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