Ohio-based food producer and restaurant operator Bob Evans Farms, Inc. has posted third-quarter net income of US$14.0m, or $0.39 a share, up from $6.6m, or $0.19 a share, in the third quarter last year. Sales for the third quarter rose by 5% to $399.5m.

“Bob Evans Restaurants’ same-store sales for the quarter improved somewhat relative to trends earlier in the year, in part due to favourable weather conditions in January,” said CEO Larry C. Corbin. “We also made significant additional progress in boosting our restaurant profit margins. Our food products business continues to deliver solid sales growth, with particularly strong increases in our newer potato products, macaroni and cheese and prepared meat entrees.”

The company said that results for the third quarter included net pre-tax gains of $1.8m on the sale of assets, and a $628,000 charge related to the closure of the company’s eight remaining Owens Restaurants. With these items stripped out, earnings per share would have been $0.02 lower.

For the nine-month period, net sales rose by 10% to $1.2bn, with most of the increase attributed to the inclusion of Mimi’s Cafe, acquired during the first quarter of 2005. Net income for the three quarters reached $34.3m, or $0.96 per share, against $31.4m, or $0.88 per share, in the corresponding period a year earlier. The company said that without the exceptional items included in the third quarter, earnings per share at the nine-month stage would have been $0.09 lower.