National Beverage Corp. has hailed "see-saw" costs as helping lift sales and profits in its first quarter.

The Florida-based soft drink company said yesterday (11 September) that net income for the three months to 2 August increased by 8% year-on-year, coming in at US$7.8m. Net sales for the quarter were also up, albeit less impressively, hitting $152.9m from $151.8m a year earlier.

Operating profit was in line with net profit, rising by 10% to $11.9m.

The company noted "'see-saw' swings" in raw material costs in the quarter, while energy costs stabilised or moved slightly lower. "The current economic conditions have impacted our 'highly leveraged' competitors giving our major retail partners reason to embrace our brand-related strategic alliance platform," said company chairman and CEO, Nick Caporella.

"The continuing strategy to protect margins while compensating for CSD declines produced growth in both operating and net income for this period."

In July, National Beverage posted a slide in net profits for the year to the end of May, down to $22.5m from $24.7m a year earlier. The slip came despite a 5%  climb in sales for the full-year, to $566m.