PHOENIX — The Inventure Group, Inc., a marketer and manufacturer of snack foods, said net earnings for the second quarter ended June 27 rose 44% to $1,037,378, equal to 6c per share on the common stock, up from $722,540, or 4c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Net sales climbed 14% to $33,419,531. The gain reflected a 14% increase in snack division sales to $21.7 million.

"Both of our businesses achieved double-digit revenue growth, and we are well positioned to continue this momentum moving into the second half of the year," said Terry McDaniel, president and chief executive officer of The Inventure Group. "In addition to our strong top line, Inventure’s relentless focus on enhancing operational efficiencies continues to drive favorable gross margin expansion as we have decreased plant cost per pound versus the same period last year."

Mr. McDaniel said the company’s Boulder Canyon business continues to gain momentum as it increases sales of its new rice and bean products, while Rader Farms has performed well amidst a softer category, recording 16% year-over-year growth in sales.

In all, the healthy/natural category was up 21% for Inventure, Mr. McDaniel noted.

"This category, encompassing 45% of total net revenue, has solid long-term growth potential based on the level of interest we are seeing in our portfolio of products," he said. "That being said, meeting our sales goals in the Rader Farms smoothie line has provided its share of challenges and we are adjusting our marketing plans accordingly. Sales of our Burger King and private label products remain strong and we increased revenues of T.G.I. Friday’s for the second quarter in a row, an indication of our success in introducing new items as well as introducing these products into the dollar store channel."

For the six months ended June 27, net income was $1,924,543, or 11c per share, up 70% from $1,133,837, or 6c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales were $63,138,365, up from $55,419,730.