ATCHISON, KANSAS, U.S. — MGPI Ingredients, Inc. (MGPI) reported on Nov. 5 that net income for the third quarter was $6,771,000, up 8.7% from $6,228,000 in the same period of last year.

"We are enjoying strong demand for our products, driven by long term macro consumer trends," said Gus Griffin, president and chief executive officer of MGPI. "The aggressive implementation of our strategic plan has effectively positioned MGPI to realize maximum benefit from these trends. Our third quarter and year-to-date results reflect the solid traction we are realizing from our strategy."

The total third quarter sales were $83,880,000, slightly down compared to $83,966,000 in the same period of last year.

For the quarter, net sales for the Ingredient Solutions Segment decreased 1.4% to $13.6 million. Gross profit decreased to $1.5 million, or 10.9% of net sales, compared with $1.6 million, or 11.3% of net sales, in the third quarter of 2014.

"While segment results were down slightly for the quarter, we were pleased by both the growth in specialty starch net sales, which increased 5.4% over the 2014 quarter, and improved mix, as specialty products accounted for 85.9% of total segment net sales,” Griffin said. “We remain very confident in the long term growth potential of our Ingredient Solutions Segment."

For the quarter, net sales for the Distillery Products Segment increased 4.7% to $66.7 million. Gross profit rose to $10.4 million, or 15.5% of net sales, compared with $5.8 million, or 9% of net sales in the third quarter of 2014. The primary driver of the improvement in gross profit was improved product mix, as net sales of food grade alcohol, which includes beverage alcohol, grew 6.1%.

"Our strong reputation for quality and innovation, combined with our production capacity, make MGPI uniquely positioned to benefit from the continual growth of the whiskey category and the premiumization of the beverage alcohol industry," said Griffin.

MGPI received joint venture equity method investment earnings of $1.6 million from its ICP joint venture, which produces high quality food grade alcohol, chemical intermediates and fuel. This result was consistent with the 2014 third quarter.

"We are making great progress in the implementation of our strategic plan," said Griffin. "We continue to strengthen our leadership, making outstanding additions to both our board and executive team this quarter. Our initial brand offering, Metze's Select, a limited edition Indiana Straight Bourbon Whiskey, has been very well received, demonstrating our ability to capture a larger share of the value chain. Our recently announced $16 million investment to significantly increase our whiskey barrel-aging capacity at our Lawrenceburg facility and our $10 million year-to-date increase in barreled whiskey inventory are further examples of our commitment to invest for growth."