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ATCHISON, KANSAS, U.S. — The strength of the company’s starch portfolio boosted profit and sales within the Ingredient Solutions segment of MGP Ingredients, Inc. in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Operating profit in the segment in the first quarter ended March 31 was $2.4 million, up 9% from $2.2 million in the same period a year ago. Sales in the segment increased 1.7% to $13.2 million.

MGPI CEO Gus Griffin
Gus Griffin, president and chief executive officer of MGPI.

“Our Ingredient Solutions segment continued to grow in the first quarter on the strength of our overall starch portfolio,” said Gus Griffin, president and chief executive officer of MGPI. “The segment also benefited from lower input costs and increased plant efficiencies.”

Companywide, overall net income totaled $8.428 million in the first quarter, equal to 50¢ per share on the common stock, up 24% from $6.789 million, or 41¢ per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales were $87.169 million, up 13% from $76.835 million.

“Our first-quarter results mark continued progress against our long term strategic plan,” Griffin said. “Revenues grew as volumes in premium beverage alcohol increased and gross profit improved in both our Distillery Products and Ingredient Solutions segments. We are off to a good start and are optimistic about the outlook for 2017.”

MGPI reconfirmed that it expects operating income to increase between 10% and 15% annually from 2016 through 2018. Net sales are expected to grow modestly in 2017, the company said.