Salad dressings-to-seasonings maker B&G Foods has upped its profit forecast for 2009 after price increases boosted first-quarter earnings.

The company, which makes a range of products including hot cereals, marinades and maple syrup, booked a 17.2% rise in EBITDA to US$27.4m for the three months to 4 April.

B&G’s unit volumes dipped but price increases boosted revenues during the quarter. Net sales rose 2% to $118.6m as a “poor” maple syrup crop in Canada weighed on the numbers.

CEO David Wenner said the company was “very pleased” with the “overall performance” of the business during the quarter.

“Our price increases are offsetting costs of commodities and packaging that are still higher on a year-over-year basis,” Wenner said.

“We expect a similar trend in the second quarter; this has caused us to raise our EBITDA guidance for fiscal 2009 from our original forecast of $95m to $98m to $99m to $102m.”

B&G’s reported net income rose from $4.4m a year ago to $5.9m. Stripping out the effect of losses from an interest rate swap, B&G said adjusted net income stood at $6.6m.