AUSTIN, MINN. — Boosted by higher sales, income for Hormel Foods Corp. for the year ended Oct. 30 was up 20 percent. For the fiscal year, the company had earnings of $474,195,000, equal to $1.78 per share on the common stock, which compared with $395,587,000, or $1.48 per share, during the previous year. Sales for the year were $7,895,089,000, up 9 percent from $7,220,719,000 in fiscal 2010.

For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 30, the company had earnings of $117,309,000, or 44c per share, up 3 percent from $121,148,000, or 46c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $2,103,898,000, up 2 percent compared with $2,063,039,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

“For the quarter, we are pleased to have generated segment profit increases in four out of five segments and an overall net sales increase,” said Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer. “Our tonnage was down in comparison with the 14-week quarter last year, but we held our own on volumes in the face of significant pricing actions."

Looking at Hormel’s fourth-quarter performance, the Grocery Products segment profit increased 3 percent, due partially to improved results by the MegaMex Foods joint venture. Sales overall for the quarter were down 2 percent. The Spam family of products and Hormel Bacon Toppings showed solid sales growth in the quarter.

Refrigerated Foods segment profit declined 19 percent for the quarter, as lower pork operating margins and higher commodity input costs negatively impacted results. Net sales for the quarter were up 1 percent, led by Hormel convenience bacon and Hormel Cure 81 hams in the Meat Products group and Hormel Natural Choice deli meats and pizza toppings in the Foodservice group.

Jennie-O Turkey Store’s segment profit was up 4 percent and sales up 2 percent. The continued sales growth of value-added products and improved efficiencies throughout the supply chain and operations offset higher feed costs during the quarter.

The Specialty Foods segment posted operating profits 12 percent higher than last year on a 10 percent increase in sales. Higher sales of private-label canned meats contributed to the improved results.

The All Other segment, which consists primarily of Hormel Foods International, posted segment profits that were 3 percent ahead of last year, and sales grew 12 percent. Results were primarily driven by stronger fresh pork exports.

In other news, effective Nov. 15, the company paid its 333rd consecutive quarterly dividend, at the annual rate of $.51, marking the beginning of its 84th consecutive year of dividends paid.