US nut manufacturer John B. Sanfilippo and Son reported its first year-over-year growth in volume since 2004 in its fiscal 2010 results.

However, it posted a 30% decline in net income for its fourth quarter against the same period of last year due to a tax benefit recorded in 2009.

Income before taxes was US$43m in the fourth quarter, compared to $3.3m in the fourth quarter of 2009. During the fourth quarter sales increased 11% to reach $141.6m due to increased sale prices for pecans and walnuts.

For the year, the company posted a 108% increase in net income to reach $14.4m. Net sales grew $7.8m over the year to $561.6m due to a 3% increase in volume sales.

“I am proud of the success that our employees have achieved in what has been a challenging economic environment,” said CEO Jeffrey Sanfilippo. “Fiscal 2010 marks the first increase in year-over-year unit volume sold since fiscal 2004. The increase in unit volume over fiscal 2009 occurred as a result of focusing our efforts to expand our business for both Fisher and private branded products with existing customers in the consumer and food service channels. In many cases, the expansion of our business with existing customers was achieved by introducing new innovative products during the current fiscal year.”