CENTENNIAL, COLO. — Strong sales in the company’s Food Ingredients unit helped drive a 76% gain in net income at Penford Corp. in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. The provider of renewable ingredient systems for industrial and food applications posted net income of $592,000 in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, 2011, equal to 5c per share on the common stock, up from $336,000, or 3c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Sales for the first quarter were $90,746,000, up 26% from $72,266,000.

For the first quarter, the Food Ingredients segment had operating income of $5,959,000, up 24% from $4,808,000 during the previous year’s first quarter. Sales for the segment were $25,924,000, up 41% from $18,336,000 during the previous year. Penford said revenue grew behind double-digit expansion in all of the company’s end market segments.

In the Industrial Ingredients segment, Penford posted income of $743,000, up sharply from $142,000 in the same period a year ago. Sales also were up sharply, rising 26% to $64,822,000 from $53,930,000. The increase in sales reflected higher corn prices that were passed through to customers, increased pricing from processing and manufacturing fees, higher ethanol volumes, and growth of specialty bio-products.