Petfood manufacturer Del Monte Corp. reported a 5.4 percent increase in sales for its petfood segment, although the company's overall net sales dropped 1.7 percent in its fourth quarter of 2012 ended April 29.

Del Monte's petfood segment's operating income increased 24.3 percent to US$92.2 million on net sales of US$490.4 million in fiscal 2012, up from an operating income of US$74.2 million on net sales of US$465.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2011. The company attributes the petfood sales increase to volume growth in new products and pricing actions, offset by volume declines in existing products.

“Our fourth quarter results reflect solid performance from our new pet product launches and savings from productivity initiatives and we are optimistic about our business momentum,” said Dave West, Del Monte’s CEO. “Our recent innovation launches of Meow Mix Tender Centers, Meow Mix Paté Toppers and Nature’s Recipe Grain Free had strong distribution gains.”

In fiscal 2012, Del Monte’s pet product segment posted net income of US$323.2 million on net sales of US$1.86 billion, compared with net income of US$377.7 million on net sales of US$1.78 billion in fiscal 2011. Del Monte posted an overall operating income of US$370.2 million on net sales of US$3.68 in fiscal 2012, compared with operating income of US$339.3 million on net sales of US$3.66 million in fiscal 2011.