MELVILLE, N.Y. — Higher sales led to a 44% increase in income during the third quarter at The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

For the quarter ended March 31, the company had income of $24,107,000, equal to 54c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $16,772,000, or 39c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $379,357,000, up 32% from $288,386,000.

“Our natural and organic products continue to resonate with consumers both domestically and internationally, outpacing the trends of conventional consumer packaged goods companies,” said Irwin D. Simon, founder, president and chief executive officer. “Our focused execution drove robust top-line sales and profitability across various classes of trade, led by natural and organic food retailers and followed by other retailers as consumers continue to seek out our natural and organic products. We are delivering on our core strategies of profitable growth, expanding net income margin, leveraging our acquisitions with improved efficiencies and increasing operating free cash flow — all providing a solid foundation for sustainable long-term growth for the company.”

For the nine months ended March 31the company had income of $55,835,000, or $1.26 per share, up 33% from $42,134,000, or 98c per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were $1,041,022,000, up 24% from $838,225,000 during the same period of the previous year.

The company also announced the acquisition of Cully & Sully Ltd., a manufacturer of natural chilled soups, pies and hot pots in Ireland.

“We are pleased to be expanding our international presence into Ireland with Cully & Sully, a leading chilled brand that has delivered consistent profitable growth since 2004,” Mr. Simon said. “Cully & Sully’s branded soup is similar to our New Covent Garden Soup Co. brand in the United Kingdom. We are excited about the prospects to expand our presence into the Irish marketplace with our Hain Celestial and Daniels brands and to expand Cully & Sully chilled fresh soups into the United Kingdom. We see a tremendous opportunity for chilled soups as consumers move away from canned soups and into fresh chilled soups.”

The details of the transaction were not disclosed, and it is to be accretive to earnings in fiscal year 2013.