US store-brand food producer Ralcorp has reported lower quarterly earnings and lacklustre sales, but indicated it may be able to boost its sales following the bankruptcy of Bake-Line.

The company posted net earnings of US$11.7m, or 39 cents per share, for the first quarter to 31 December, compared to $13.3m, or 44 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales for the three-month period rose to $362.5m from $348.3m a year earlier. While net sales in the company’s snack nuts and sugar confectionery segment increased, sales declined slightly in its cereals, crackers and cookies segment, and sales in its dressings, syrups, jellies and sauces segment also fell. The latest quarter also included nearly one month of results from the Bakery Chef business, which was acquired in December and contributed $13.2m to sales.

Ralcorp also said that since Bake-Line Group filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations earlier this month, Ralcorp had been contacted by several of Bake-Line’s former customers about supplying product. Ralcorp said that based on industry data Bake-Line had annual sales of around $100m-120m in the store-brand cookies and crackers categories.