Michael Foods reported net earnings for the third quarter, ended September 29, of $8.7 million, compared to $0.6 million in 2011, according to the company's latest financial report.

The earnings increase resulted from higher volumes, improved margins in 2012 due to better alignment of pricing with input costs, and reduced interest expense of approximately $2.9 million in 2012 compared to 2011 resulting from derivative accounting on interest rate swap contracts, said the company. Egg products in particular increased, doing $13.12 million in business, compared to $10.93 million during the same quarter in 2011.

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Net earnings for the nine months were $16.4 million, compared to a net loss of $5 million in 2011. The earnings increase resulted from higher volumes, improved margins, costs of approximately $8 million in 2011 related to refinancing of the company's credit agreement, a reduction in cash interest expense in 2012 due to lower debt levels, and reduced interest expense of approximately $4.8 million in 2012 compared to 2011. Egg products are down so far for the three quarters overall, at $31.38 million compared to $38.44 million in 2011.

“Our third quarter and year-to-date results reflect the success of our key growth initiatives and the strength of our underlying business processes,” said Jim Dwyer, president and CEO of Michael Foods. “Our volume and revenue growth is being driven by new distribution and increased velocity with existing customers. We are also seeing the continued effectiveness of our pass-through pricing mechanisms and continuous improvement programs.”