US pesto and pasta firm Armanino Foods of Distinction has posted “record” first-quarter profits.

Armanino recorded a 16.1% increase in net income to US$746,419 for the three months to the end of March.

The growth in earnings came despite a dip in sales. Net sales fell 0.2% to $6.7m.

However, president and CEO Edmond Pera said changes to Armanino’s sales mix helped the company’s “strong financial results”.

He added: “While our sales for the first part of the quarter were below last year’s level, activity for the latter part of the quarter picked up significantly with the quarter ending with very strong results. This trending suggests to us that, as we have seen before, customers ramped up their purchases prior to year end 2012 in anticipation of the 2013 price increases. We are cautiously optimistic that our sales and profitability will remain strong for the remainder of this year.”