OAK BROOK, ILL. — A focus on improved efficiency and execution benefited TreeHouse Foods, Inc., during the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Facing difficult pantry-stocking comparisons from the year prior, the company was able to generate a profit during the quarter.

Net income for the period ended March 31 was $1.5 million, equal to 1¢ per share on the common stock. The results are an improvement compared to the same period last year when TreeHouse Foods recorded a loss of $31.2 million.

Quarterly sales fell 2.5% to $1.06 billion.

“We were up against a tough comp given the unprecedented pantry loading we saw a year ago as we entered the shelter-in-place,” said Steven T. Oakland, president and chief executive officer, during a May 6 call with securities analysts. “Against all of that, we delivered a solid first quarter.”

Meal Preparation business unit sales rose less than 1% to $678.5 million during the quarter. The December…

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