US dairy company Dean Foods has posted a first-quarter profit, compared to a year earlier loss, helped by strong sales of branded products such as Silk soymilk and Hershey’s flavoured drinks.

The Dallas-based company reported a first-quarter profit of US$63.2m, or 65 cents a share, compared with a loss of $29.6m, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Dean Foods said it would reorganise to focus on its higher-margin branded items. It also backed its full-year earnings estimates of $3.11 to $3.16 a share.

Excluding one-time items, Dean Foods earned 64 cents a share, compared to 56 cents a share in the year-ago period. On that bases, analysts had expected earnings of 63 cents a share, reported Reuters.

The company posted net sales of $2.1bn, down 4% year-on-year.