US natural and organic food distributor United Natural Foods has posted a rise in fourth-quarter earnings, helped by increased sales.

The company posted earnings of US$5m, or 25 cents a share, for the quarter to 31 July, compared with $4.1m, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 32 cents a share, meeting analysts’ average estimate, reported Reuters.

United Natural Foods, which is based in Dayville, Connecticut, posted net sales of $366.8m, an increase of 18.6% year-on-year.