US snack company John B. Sanfilippo & Son, has said net income for the fourth quarter to 30 June was flat at US$3.5m, or 32 cents per share.

Net sales for the fiscal 2005 fourth quarter increased by around 16% to $144.1m.

For the full year, net income was $14.5m, or $1.35 per share, compared to $22.6m, or $2.32 per share, for fiscal 2004. Net sales for fiscal 2005 increased by 12% to around $581.7m.

The increase in net sales was mainly due to significant sales increases in the contract packaging and food service distribution channels and price increases in all distribution channels implemented throughout the fiscal year.

“The remarkable increase in tree nut costs over the last five quarters has created many challenges for the company,” said Jasper Sanfilippo, chairman of the board and chief executive officer.

“We have worked hard to control other costs and implement price increases during the fiscal year, but it has been difficult to keep pace with these cost increases from a pricing standpoint without significantly impacting consumption, especially in our consumer distribution channel,” he added.

“With the exception of almonds, we are beginning to see signs that tree nut costs have now stabilised and have the potential to decline in calendar 2006,” Sanfilippo said.

John B. Sanfilippo & Son processes and markets shelled and in-shell nuts and extruded snacks that are sold under a variety of private labels and under the company’s Fisher, Evon’s, Snack ‘N Serve Nut Bowl, Sunshine Country, Flavor Tree and Texas Pride brand names.