The JM Smucker Company has reported a 10% rise in full year income from continuing operations on the back of a record fourth quarter.


The largest US producer of jellies and jams, reported net income in the fourth quarter ended April 30 of US$35.7m, or 62 cents a share, from $22.1m, or 38 cents, a year earlier.


Fourth quarter net sales reached $501.7m a rise of 2% on the same period last year.


For the full year, JM Smucker said net sales reached $2,154.7m, a rise of 5% over last year. This led to income from continuing operations of $143.4m, up 10%.


The company said that fourth quarter sales in each of its strategic business areas increased over the prior year, with the exception of Canada, which was down slightly as a result of a planned sales rationalisation.


The increase in income from continuing operations for the quarter was driven by sales growth, improved profitability in the Uncrustables business, and decreases in merger and integration and restructuring charges.


“For the fourth quarter and the year, we delivered record results while making investments in future growth despite a difficult cost environment,” said Tim Smucker, chairman and co-chief executive officer. “As we look forward, we are confident in our strategy and in the fundamentals of the business.”


In the statement, the company confirmed its long-term sales growth goal of 8%, one-half of which is to come from its core business and new products, and the remainder from acquisitions. Long-term earnings per share growth would be in line with sales growth.


“The company recognises that acquisitions may not occur each year, but, over time, acquisitions have contributed to growth rates consistent with the company’s strategic objective,” it said.