Hansen Natural has posted a strong set of sales results for its first quarter.

The Californian soft drinks producer, which has had trouble of late producing performance figures, said yesterday (7 May) that net sales for the three months to the end of March leapt by 38% year-on-year, totalling US$165.4m.

In October, the Securities and Exchange Commission asked Hansen for details relating to the filing of SEC Forms 4 and its stock option grant practices. One month later, the company appointed a special committee "to undertake a special investigation of certain option grants". In March the special committee said it had substantially completed its special investigation, and reported its findings.

"Pending the filing of all delinquent periodic reports, the company has determined to report only selected financial information for the first quarter," Hansen said. The company will post full results for Q3 last year, the fiscal year 2006 and this year's first quarter "as soon as practicable".

"The energy category continued to show strong growth over the prior year, and the Monster Energy brand grew well in excess of the market," said Rodney Sacks, Hansen's chairman and CEO. "Monster continued to gain increased distribution during the quarter."

Gross profit as a percentage of sales in the quarter slipped to to 51.5% from 52.6% in the same quarter last year, largely due to increases in certain raw material costs, production costs, inbound freight costs and changes in product mix.