US kefir maker Lifeway Foods booked an increase in sales and earnings for 2012, with “strong” revenue and profit growth expected to continue in 2013.

The company revealed operating income increased by 74% in the 12 months to end-December, climbing to US$8.8m. Net income rose to $5.6m in the period, up from $2.9m in 2011.

Sales gained 16% as the group expanded distribution and consumer awareness increased. Sales in the 12 month period totalled $81.4m.

CEO Julie Smolyansky said the group had seen upward trends continue in the first three months of 2013: “We expect gross revenues for our first quarter 2013, which ended March 29, 2013, to be approximately 30% higher when compared to the same period in 2012, and we expect to continue this momentum throughout the year.”