Food manufacturing giant Heinz posted good first quarter results - particularly in its ketchup, condiments and sauces business.

Sales were up 3.1% from $1.8m to $1.9m during the same three months to July 30. The company cited "increased volume" and "improved mix" as the key factors in driving growth in sales. Expansion in its Asia Pacific businesses also helped increase sales.

Pre-tax profit was $0.7m compared to $0.67m in the same quarter last year.

In December, the group spun off some underperforming units, including its tuna and private label soup, and US babyfoods divisions, to Del Monte Foods, to focus on its key products such as ketchup. It said it was on track to achieve its net sales targets for the year.

Heinz has also named Stefan Barden as its area director for UK and Ireland.