KANSAS CITY — Earnings at American Italian Pasta Co. soared 177% in the second quarter, boosted by a 16% gain in sales and 12% increase in volumes. Net income for the second quarter ended April 3 was $26,196,000, equal to $1.27 per share on the common stock, up sharply from $9,444,000, or 50c per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenues climbed to $162,325,000, which compared with $139,568,000 in the previous year.

"Clearly, our strategy and great execution by the entire AIPC employee team are paying off," said Jack Kelly, chief executive officer. "Volume was a key factor in our overall revenue growth, handily outpacing the industry’s overall growth rate. Moving forward, we are well positioned to capitalize on what we believe will be a lasting upward trajectory in consumption, given pasta’s value, versatility and nutritional benefits."

Institutional revenues increased 3% to $34.7 million during the second quarter, primarily due to a 11% increase in higher volume, partially offset by an 8% decrease in average selling prices. Retail revenues increased 21% to $127.6 million, primarily because of a 11% increase related to higher average selling prices and a 10% increase in volumes.

For the six months ended April 3, net income was $52,224,000, or $2.56 per share, up from $10,838,000, or 58c per share. Net sales were up 33% to $333,531,000.

In a separate announcement, the board of directors of AIPC named Cathleen S. Curless as a director to serve a term through the company’s 2012 annual meeting. The move increases the AIPC board membership to 10, including 9 outside directors.

Ms. Curless, a faculty member at the University of Kansas School of Business, is an expert in strategic planning and information technology systems integration and implementation. Earlier, she was with Payless Shoesource Worldwide from 1987-2007, most recently as chief information officer from 2001-07. She also worked at Payless as director of merchandising information systems and vice-president of systems development. Prior to joining Payless, Ms. Curless was a consultant at Arthur Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture, for 10 years.

She received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in finance, both from the University of Kansas.