US egg firm Cal-Maine Foods’ first-quarter net profits has more than tripled as sales climbed on higher average market prices for shell eggs.

In the three months ended 1 September, earnings surged to US$9.4m from $3.1m last year, the firm reported today (1 October).

Operating profit in the period amounted to $15.6m versus $5.9m reported last year, while net sales climbed 11.9% to $272.9m.

“Our speciality egg sales have continued to trend higher and represented over 16.1% of dozens sold and 23.5% of total shell egg sales revenue for the quarter,” said president and CEO Dolph Baker. “We will continue to identify new market opportunities to expand our speciality egg business and meet growing customer demand.”