US non-dairy desert maker Tofutti Brands Inc has announced a rise in sales for the year ended 1 January 2005 as a record fourth quarter offset problems earlier.

Net sales for the fifty-three weeks ended 1 January 2005 were $19,188,000, an increase of $174,000, or 1%, from the sales level realized for the fifty-two weeks ended December 27, 2003.

The company posted record net sales of approximately $5.3m in the 14 week fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 compared to net sales of approximately $4.5m in the 13 week period in fiscal 2003.

The strong fourth quarter sales, meant the company was able to report increased sales in fiscal 2004 despite reductions in sales in the first and third quarters of fiscal 2004 as compared to fiscal 2003.  In the first quarter of fiscal 2004, its shipping schedule was adversely affected due to the loss of shipping days when the extended New Year’s holiday was celebrated by trucking companies and because it discontinued certain unprofitable products and product lines starting at the end 2003 and no longer had the benefit of their sales in fiscal 2004, it said.  In the third quarter of fiscal 2004, sales were adversely affected due to the loss of business in Florida and the southeastern United States in August and September as a result of problems caused by the severe weather those areas experienced and attendant transportation problems.

Net income for fiscal 2004 increased 57% to $607,000 compared to $386,000 ($0.07 per share) for fiscal 2003, principally as a result of lower provision for income tax. 

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For fiscal 2004, the company reported a decrease in operating income to
$1,046,000 from $1,131,000.  The company’s operating results continued to be negatively impacted as a result of new product start-up costs, including costs incurred at new co-packaging locations, increased marketing expenses and higher packaging and freight charges.

“Although we did not achieve our goals in fiscal 2004, we ended the year
on a high note, as we achieved record revenues in the fourth quarter,” said chairman and CEO David Mintz. “Our new product pipeline continued to provide Tofutti Brands with new and exciting products.  The improved results in the fourth quarter confirms that our business plan of concentrating on our core business of non-dairy frozen desserts and soy-cheese products is succeeding.”