Food titan H J Heinz has posted a huge rise in profits for its fiscal first quarter.

The US-based group reported earnings of $214 million (€195.6m; £135.1m) in the three months to June, more than double the $100m from Q1 2002. Sales from continuing operations rose 3% to $1.9 billion.

The results partly reflect an accounting change and the benefits of a weaker dollar. Excluding exceptional items and accountancy variations, profits from continuing operations climbed from $166.0m to $179.8m.

Sales volume increased 2.2% as demand for ketchup and pasta sauces rose in North America. Heinz also performed well in Asia Pacific, where it has been expanding in recent years. The company now generates over 60% of sales from outside the US.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff