AUSTIN, Minn. – Hormel Foods Corp. on Thursday reported a 14 percent increase for fiscal 2008 second quarter earnings supported by refrigerated foods and grocery products.

Hormel said in a statement that second quarter earnings were $77.6 million, up 14 percent from earnings of $68.0 million a year earlier. Sales totaled $1.59 billion, up from $1.50 billion in fiscal 2007. Sales totaled $3.22 billion, up 7 percent, from $3.01 billion in the same period last year.

“It was a solid quarter for Hormel Foods. We were able to meet our company objectives for sales and earnings growth in the second quarter amidst a challenging operating environment,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman, president and CEO.

Ettinger said that the Jennie-O Turkey Store and specialty foods segment reported declines because of rising raw material and fuel costs.

The all other segment, which includes the international business unit, had another excellent quarter with operating profits up 20 percent. Export sales and margins continued to be strong throughout the quarter.