Hain Celestial, a New York-based manufacturer of natural and organic foods and beverages, has reported net sales of $359.8m from continuous operations for the first quarter (Q1) ended 30 September 2012, an 25.4% increase compared to net sales of $286.8m in the prior year period.

The increase in net sales was primarily due to continued sales in the natural and organic sector, besides contributions from strategic acquisitions.

The Q1 net sales figures in fiscal 2013 do not include $12.2m from discontinued operations.

Net income earned for the first quarter was $19.8m from continuing operations, up 56.6%, as compared to $12.6m in the previous year first quarter.

Hain Celestial founder, president and CEO Irwin Simon said they had a strong start to their fiscal year with solid growth of their business led by Hain Celestial United States and with contributions from their expanded international operations during their first quarter.

"Our increased scale provided us the leverage for improved operating efficiencies across our global portfolio enabling us to deliver solid results from all of our segments," Simon added.

"At the same time, our cash conversion cycle improved to 66 days compared 83 days during the first quarter last year."

The company had also signed a letter of intent to acquire BluePrint, a recognized leader in juice cleanses and single-serve raw juices based in New York City, which is expected to close by the end of 2012.