However, low cocoa butter prices hampered growth in its Chocolate and confectionery fats business area.
The company posted overall sales of €474.4m (SEK 4.2bn) up almost 10%, helped by volume increases and the impact of AAK Louisville (formerly Golden Foods).
Operating profit rose 8% compared to the same quarter last year to €24.8m (SEK 220m).
Best-ever ingredients results
The highlight by far was AAK’s food ingredients category where operating profit reached a record-high €15.4m (SEK 137m), soaring 32% on last year.
The category was helped by 12% volume gains compared to Q1 2011 largely a result of the AAK Louisville acquisition.
“We remain clearly very optimistic for the future mainly driven by this business area,” said the company.
Around a third of improvements in this category came from Louisville AAK, the new name for the Golden Brands/Gold Foods business acquired in July last year for an undisclosed sum.
Golden Brands/Gold Foods is a North American processor of specialty fats and oils and manufacturer of shortenings for the bakery and food service industries.
Chocolate and confectionery fats
AAK’s chocolate and confectionery fats business area remained relatively stable in Q1.
Net sales were up 6% to €137.4m (SEK 1.22bn) while operating profit for the segment was flat at €9m (SEK 81m).
“The continued record low cocoa butter price (minus approximately 30-40 % versus a three year average) represents a clear challenge for the business area in the short to medium term,” said AAK.
“We expect the business area to remain approximately stable or somewhat challenged during the next quarters,” the company continued.
AAK will report its second quarter (Q2) results on 19 July this year.