ATCHISON, KANSAS, U.S. — Net income at MGP Ingredients, Inc. increased 19% in the second quarter ended June 30, rising to $7.379 million, equal to 44¢ per share on the common stock, from $6.186 million, or 37¢ per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales also increased, rising to $88.252 million from $85.753 million.

“For the second quarter, both of our business segments showed growth over the prior year, driving consolidated net sales for the quarter up about 3%, with net income increasing over 18%,” Augustus C. Griffin, president and chief executive officer, said during an Aug. 2 conference call with analysts. “We remain very pleased with our progress against all parts of our strategic plan, and we’re continuing to invest for growth.”

Gross profit in the Ingredient Solutions segment decreased to $2.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2018, down from $2.9 million in the same period of fiscal 2017, while sales increased 3.6% to $15.6 million.

“Gross margins declined 140 basis points due to higher input costs as compared to the prior year quarter,” Griffin said. “The second quarter marks the seventh consecutive quarter of revenue growth for our Ingredient Solutions segment. We are pleased with this continued sales growth, and our focus on leveraging the key consumer trends of high fiber, high protein, non-GMO, plant-based proteins and clean label ingredients is fueling this growth. We continue to strongly believe in the potential these trends provide.”

MGPI confirmed its guidance for operating income to grow between 10% and 15% during fiscal 2018. Net sales growth for 2018 is projected in the high single-digit percentage range.