The Topps Company, Inc., the New York-based confectionery and entertainment products group, posted second-quarter net sales of US$82.3m, up 9.9% on the same period last year, but said confectionery sales had declined.

Income from operations rose by 27% to $4.3m, a figure which included pre-tax charges of $1.13m in relation to severance and related costs and $941,000 for costs associated with the recent proxy contest. Adjusted for these charges, fiscal 2007 second-quarter income from operations was $6.4m, and net income was $3.4m, the company said.

Confectionery net sales fell by 5.8% to $39.8m. Although soft sales of US Ring Pop and Push Pop products had negatively impacted on turnover, the company said there had been solid sales contributions from newly-introduced seasonal products such as Halloween Bazooka Bags and Halloween Baby Bottle Pops.

“There are multiple initiatives underway to improve the performance of our confectionery business,” said chairman and CEO Arthur T. Shorin. “We are moving forward with redesign and line extension programmes as well as plans to expand our domestic distribution and broaden in-store placement at existing customers. Additionally, our new, innovative Vertigo lollipop is slated to launch in November.”

For the six-month period, net sales rose to $163.3m, from $153.5m in the same period last year. Income from operations was $5.9m, against $3.9m last year, while net income fell to $5.0m, or $0.12 per diluted share, from $5.7m, or $0.14 per diluted share, in the first half of last year.

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