Food distributor Sysco Corp reported a higher quarterly profit and revenue, helped mainly by strong demand for its products, sending its shares up 4 percent.

Sysco, which distributes food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities and other customers who prepare meals away from home, posted a third-quarter net income of $258.5 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with $247.6 million, or 42 cents a share, a year ago.

Third-quarter results included a charge of 4 cents a share, related to the withdrawal of an operating company from a multi-employer pension plan.

Sales rose 9 percent to $9.76 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 41 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $9.48 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company were up 4 percent at $29.76 before the bell. They closed at $28.51 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Mihir Dalal in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)