US meat giant Tyson Foods said fiscal 2013 is off to “a good start” after it booked an increase in first-quarter earnings.

Net profit in the three months ended 29 December amounted to US$173m, an 11% increase on last year, it reported today (1 February). Operating profit climbed 7.9% to $300m. Net sales reached $8.4m, a 1.2% increase on the prior year period.

President and CEO Donnie Smith said the company is on its way to producing “earnings this year better than fiscal 2012”.

For fiscal 2013, Tyson said it expects sales to around $35bn mostly resulting from price increases related to expected decreases in domestic availability of protein and increased raw material costs.