ConAgra Foods Inc posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, as increased marketing and product improvements boosted results in its consumer foods business, and it raised its full year outlook.

The company, whose brands include Chef Boy-Ar-Dee pasta and Banquet frozen dinners, said net profit rose to $239.7 million, or 54 cents a share, in the second quarter that ended November 29, from $168.1 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the profit was 52 cents a share, beating the analysts' average forecast of 47 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

ConAgra, like many packaged food makers, has benefited from consumers eating more at home during the recession.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)