US soft drinks group Hansen Natural Corporation has reported strong increases in sales and net income for the first quarter of 2006.

Hansen yesterday (9 May) saw net sales almost double to US$119.7m. Net income more than doubled to US$21.1m.

The company said record sales of its Monster Energy drinks, including the low-carb variants in the range, had contributed to the buoyant showing.

Other strong performers included Monster Energy Khaos energy drinks and Monster Energy Assault energy drinks, while higher volumes of Lost Energy drinks also contributed to the growth.

However, the company added that the strong growth was partly offset by lower sales of Hansen's energy drinks, Joker Mad Energy drinks and Smoothies in cans.

Yesterday, Hansen secured a distribution deal with Anheuser-Busch. The agreement means that certain A-B wholesalers will become distributors of Hansen's portfolio as well as an additional Hansen energy brand to be designated.