Del Monte Foods posted net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2007 of US$674.1m compared to $616.6m last year, an increase of 9.3%, primarily driven by the acquisitions of Meow Mix and Milk-Bone businesses.

Increased net pricing and growth from new products also contributed to the increase in net sales, but gains were partially offset by a volume decline.

The company said that income from continuing operations was down to $7.4m, or $0.04 EPS, compared to $12.8m, or $0.06 EPS.

Del Monte Foods chairman and CEO Richard Wolford said: “We are pleased with the quarter’s results and with the continued progress against our key initiatives and strategic objectives. Project Brand is sharpening the orientation of our business around our leading brands.

“We successfully closed the Meow Mix and Milk-Bone acquisitions in the first quarter, driving portfolio realignment by expanding Del Monte’s presence in higher margin businesses in fast growing categories. While faced with continued inflationary cost pressures, this quarter’s financial performance reflects continued successful brand-driven pricing actions, new product introductions, and aggressive cost-reduction actions.”

During the second quarter, Del Monte expects to deliver sales growth of approximately 15% to 18% over net sales of $793.2m in the second quarter of fiscal 2006.