COLUMBUS, Ohio (Nov. 5)—Lancaster Colony Corp.'s first-quarter sales increased 2 percent year over year to $266 million because of strong performance in its food operations. Net income was flat at $20.3 million. Earnings per share increased two cents because of its stock repurchase program, Lancaster said. "The continued strength of our food operations has largely offset the challenges of our non-food segments," Chairman and CEO John B. Gerlach Jr. said in Lancaster's earnings release. Specialty Foods sales increased 13 percent while revenue in Lancaster's automotive floor mat division decreased 17 percent. However, operating income as a percentage of sales for the mat unit increased to 3 percent vs. less than 1 percent during the first quarter of 2000.