Jan. 30 -- Hillshire Brands , the Chicago -based maker of Jimmy Dean , Ball Park and Hillshire Farm said its sales climbed 2.1 percent to $1.08 billion from $1.06 billion the year before despite lower volumes as the company raised prices on its products. For the quarter ended Dec. 28, 2013 , Hillshire, which has headquarters on the Near West Side , said it earned 91 cents per share compared to 47 cents per share last year. Operating income was $116 million , up nearly 17 percent from $99 million the same time last year. Wall Street analysts, on average had expected to Hillshire to earn $1.06 billion in sales. Sales climbed in Hillshire's retail and food service divisions, despite volume declines as the company raised prices to address areas of the business affected by inflation. "Encouragingly, the volume impact we saw was more modest than expected, with most consumers remaining loyal to our brands," said President and CEO Sean Connolly in a statement. "The associated benefit, along with strong supply chain productivity and timing of expenses enabled us to deliver strong performance on the bottom line," he said. email@example.com -- Twitter: @corilyns ___ (c)2014 the Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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