COLUMBUS, OHIO — Net income at Lancaster Colony Corp. fell 6% during the third quarter ended March 31. For the quarter, income totaled $18,222,000, equal to 67c per share on the common stock, down from $19,441,000, or 71c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales totaled $271,098,000, up 7% from $252,623,000.

For the nine months ended March 31 net income was $69,853,000, or $2.56 per share, down 9% from $77,071,000, or $2.77 per share, in the same period a year ago. Sales were $857,400,000, up 3% from $833,912,000.

Operating income within Lancaster’s Specialty Foods segment fell 7% during the third quarter to $29,561,000, while sales in the division increased 9% to $237,432,000 from $217,436,000. For the nine months, operating income in the segment fell 10% to $109,510,000, while sales rose 7% to $740,604,000.

“We were pleased with the improvement in Specialty Foods sales, given the widely reported challenges faced by consumers,” said John B. Gerlach Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “Our quarterly results were affected by the timing of certain marketing expenditures, as well as higher material and freight costs.”