WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Operating income of the North America business of Ingredion Inc. in the three months ended March 31 was $107.7 million, up 8% from $100 million in the first quarter of 2012. Sales were $909.8 million, up 2% from the same period last year.

While the year-to-year sales change for the division was modest, the profile of sales in the 2013 quarter was radically different than the year before. Breaking down the sales gain by component, Ingredion said foreign exchange had a negative impact of $1 million, volume-$26 million and price/mix a positive +$45 million.

“Sales growth was driven by positive price/mix partially offset by negative volume and slight currency headwinds,” Ingredion said. “The benefits of the North American manufacturing network optimization, particularly the decision to shed some low margin business, resulted in higher price/mix.”

The company attributed the improved operating profits to the better price mix and “continued focus on cost savings initiatives from manufacturing efficiencies.”

Net income of Ingredion in the first quarter was $110.8 million, equal to $1.43 per share on the common stock, up 18% from $94.2 million, or $1.23, during the first quarter last year. Sales were flat, at $1,662.4 million, versus $1,658 million in January-March 2012.

Excluding special charges in the 2012 quarter, Ingredion earnings in the 2013 period were up 12%.