Price rises have helped US-based nut group John B. Sanfilippo & Son to book a 4% increase in full-year sales, despite lower volumes.

For the 12 months to the end of June, Sanfilippo & Son saw net sales reach US$700.6m. The group attributed the increase to price rises on its nuts, despite this also causing a near-9% drop in volume sales versus the same period of last year.

Operating profit jumped by 221% to $32.9m, while net profit soared by 500% to $17.1m. Profits in the previous year were hampered by a goodwill impairment charge. Lower interest costs also boosted earnings in the firm’s most recent fiscal year.

Group CEO Jeffrey Sanfilippo said: “We anticipate that market prices will fall for cashews and peanuts in fiscal 2013, which should allow our customers and us to return to focusing on growing sales volume for these nuts through increased collaborative marketing and merchandising activities.

“We are also encouraged that, according to the most recently released market data, our company’s Fisher brand has shown a significant market share increase in the baking nut category.”

In the fourth quarter, the firm saw net sales crept up by 0.2% to $166.7m. Operating profits rose by 71% to $7.7m, while net profits jumped by 76% to $3.9m.