National Beverage Corp. has bucked the trend of this results season, reporting growth in both sales and profit in its fiscal first nine months.

The Florida-based soft drinks company said today (13 March) that net profit in the nine months to the end of January rose to US$17.9m, from $16.9m in the corresponding period a year earlier. Sales followed suit, climbing to $426.7m from $418.5m.

"As we all face the never-ending bombardment of dire news - foreclosures, bankruptcies, rising unemployment, global bank failures, billion dollar frauds, etc., etc., etc. - I am extremely grateful for - and proud of - our National Beverage" said company chairman and CEO Nick Caporella.

"While some may have chided our conservative expansion over recent years, we believe that our diligent focus on operating margins and cash flow has given us an advantageous position to now aggressively seek and capture opportunities."

For the quarter to the end of January, net profit increased to $3.7m from $3.3m, with sales increasing to $129.4m from $123.2m.