SkyPeople Fruit Juice has posted an increase in income for the third quarter of 2009 and said the rise proves the potential of its business for "solid sales growth".

Net income for the period increased 75.8% year-over-year to reach US$2.1m, the company reported today (16 November).

Income from operations increased 76.8% to $2.9m for the third quarter.

"Our strong third quarter financial results prove the potential of our business for solid sales growth and enhanced profitability," said Yongke Xue, CEO of SkyPeople. "Demand for fresh kiwifruit, fruit beverages and fruit vinegar beverages has accelerated substantially in the Chinese market due in part to moderate overall improvement in the Chinese economy and bolstered by the growing adoption of healthier lifestyles."

Sales for the third quarter climbed 67.1% year-over-year to reach $10.6m, compared to $6.3m in the prior year. The increase was primarily associated with sales of fresh kiwifruit, fruit beverages and fruit vinegar beverages in China.

A new vegetable and fresh fruits division was established by the company in July to promote the sales of fresh kiwifruit in the Chinese domestic market.

Sales of fresh kiwifruit in the three months ended 30 September were $2.9m; there were no comparable sales of fresh kiwifruit in the year-ago period.

In addition to new fresh kiwifruit sales, the company generated sales growth of 17.8% in sales of fruit beverages and 184.1% in sales of concentrated apple juice and apple aroma products. The growth however, was partially offset by a modest year-over-year decrease of 2.6% in sales of concentrated pear juice and a year-over-year decrease of 26.2% in sales of concentrated kiwifruit juice and kiwifruit puree.

"Our sales growth shows that we are playing an important role in China's fruit juice market and building awareness for our innovative products," said Xue.