Ruddick Corp on Wednesday reported a 7.5 per cent climb in first quarter sales to $70.6 million from $65.7m in the year-ago period at its industrial sewing thread subsidiary American & Efird (A&E). The North Carolina-based company said US sales fell eight per cent as the trend to more sourcing outside of the US continued but added foreign sales increased by 27.6 per cent year-on-year.