Dean Foods Co reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped partly by strong sales of its Horizon Organic branded milk, and the dairy company raised its full-year earnings forecast.

For the first quarter, net income attributable to Dean Foods was $25.3 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with $43.2 million, or 24 cents a share, a year ago.

Net sales rose 3 percent to $3.05 billion.

Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 6 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $3.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales at its WhiteWave-Alpro business, which sells Horizon Organic milk and Land O'Lakes creamers, rose 7 percent to $507 million.

The company expects 2011 adjusted earnings of 67-75 cents a share, up from its previous outlook of 55-65 cents a share. (Reporting by Mihir Dalal in Bangalore;Editing by Vyas Mohan)