Del Monte Foods has moved to a net profit in the first quarter of its financial year on the back of an increase in sales.

In the three months ended 29 July, earnings amounted to US$6.3m compared to a net loss of $27.6m last year, the company reported today (10 September). Last year’s loss was thanks to costs from the takeover of the business by a private-equity consortium.

Operating profit, however, declined 7.1% to $45.8m as a result of increased marketing expenses and costs associated with the closure of its Kingsburg facility in California.

The decline was partially offset by the positive impact of top line and list pricing actions, the firm said.

Net sales climbed 5.8% in the period to $821.1m driven by new and existing product volumes. List pricing actions also contributed positively to sales.

“The company’s first quarter results reflect strong top line momentum,” said CEO Dave West. “We remain focused on generating long-term growth by investing behind our brands in both pet and consumer, as well as driving innovation.”

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