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Thai Union Frozen Q1 Net Profit Outperforms Forecasts

Thai Union Frozen TUF.BK (TUF), Thailand’s biggest canned tuna exporter, reported a 13 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, helped by increasing sales, lower raw tuna prices and cost controls.

January-March net profit was 653 million baht ($18.6 million), up from 578 million baht a year ago, and up from 307 million baht in the fourth quarter.

The result was above the average 643 million baht forecast by eight analysts polled by Reuters.

TUF, which sells the “Chicken of the Sea” brand, expected its dollar revenue from exports and U.S. subsidiaries to increase 8-10 percent this year and reach $3 billion by 2012.

Concerns over the spread of swine flu would boost consumption of seafood, analysts said. Frozen shrimp, pet food, frozen cephalopods and canned sardines are forecast to deliver good growth for the year, they said. ($1=35.17 Baht)