FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) ¿ National Beverage Corp., which distributes beverages and makes its own soda and energy drinks, said Friday its third quarter profit rose 11 percent on higher sales.

The company, which distributes brands such as Shasta, Everfresh and LaCroix, said consumer focus on value has driven them to its products.

"Today's shopper is keenly aware of value and this has generated volume growth throughout our beverage portfolio," Chief Executive Nick A. Caporella said in a statement.

Profit for the quarter ended Jan. 31 was $3.7 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with $3.3 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales grew to $129.4 million up from $123.2 million the previous year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 7 cents a share on sales of $125.5 million.

For the first nine months of the year, the company reported profit increased to $17.9 million, or 39 cents a share, up from $16.9 million, or 37 cents a share, a year ago.

Shares rose 51 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $8.46 in morning trading.
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