US snack maker Lance posted an increase in first-quarter net profit today (24 April) and raised it full-year earnings forecast.

For the quarter ended 28 March, net income reached US$6.5m compared with $0.6m in the previous year’s quarter. The figure was boosted by increased private-label sales and higher selling prices, which offset the impact of the peanut butter recall.

The group raised its 2009 full-year net sales estimate to a range of $910m to $930m from $900m to $920m, and its full-year diluted earnings per share estimate to a range of $1.10 to $1.20 from $1.00 to $1.15.

Revenue for the quarter rose 9% to reach $215.8m.

The company’s branded product sales, which represented about 60% of total sales in the 2009 first quarter, increased around 5% from the prior year period.

Growth was driven largely by higher selling prices and incremental revenue associated with the acquisition of certain assets of Archway Cookies completed in December 2008.

“We are very pleased with the underlying earnings momentum in the quarter,” said David Singer, president and CEO. “As we anticipated, sales of our most popular product, peanut butter sandwich crackers, were impacted by the January recall of peanut butter.

“Throughout the remainder of the year, we will remain focused on mitigating the impact of the peanut butter recall, integrating and growing the Archway business, capturing the efficiencies driven by our operational improvements and driving continued sales growth.”