Foodservice distributor US Foods has reported that net sales of $19bn for the first nine months of fiscal 2019 increased by 4.8% compared with 2018.

The rise was primarily due to the rise in organic case volume and year-over-year inflation in various product categories, including grocery, poultry and beef.

During this period, gross profits of $3.4bn increased $136m or 4.2%, from the prior year and gross profit as a percentage of net sales stood at 17.6%.

Net income for the first nine months was $293m, representing a $14m decline from the previous year.

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Meanwhile, US Foods reported a gross profit of $1.2bn increased $48m or 4.3% for the third quarter of fiscal 2019, compared with 2018.

Gross profit as a percentage of net sales was 17.7%, while adjusted gross profit was $1.2bn, a 5.3% rise compared to last year.

Net income during this quarter decreased by $8m and stood at $106m, due to increased income tax and operating expenses.

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US Foods chairman and CEO Pietro Satriano said: “Our focus on profitable growth enabled us to deliver strong organic Adjusted EBITDA growth of 6.7% for the quarter.

“We also delivered organic independent restaurant case growth of 4.2% as we continue to gain share with this target customer group.”

Total case volume for the first nine months increased 2% from the previous year and independent restaurant case volume rose 5.5%.

For the first nine months, net cash provided by operating activities stood at $559m, an increase of $115m from the prior year and cash capital expenditures totalled $157m.

At the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2019, net debt was $4.8bn, which represented an increase of $1.5bn compared to fiscal 2018.