Herbalife Ltd. reported better-than-expected first quarter results, saying growing demand in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions for its weight loss and nutritional supplements offset slower sales in other markets.

The Los Angeles company late Monday reported net income of $41.5 million (67 cents per share), compared with $62.4 million (93 cents) a year ago. Revenue fell 14 percent to almost $522 million

Excluding charges, Herbalife earned 68 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Reuters Estimates on average were expecting adjusted earnings of 60 cents a share on revenue of nearly $514 million.

Volume points rose 36.4 percent in the Asia-Pacific region and rose 5.2 percent in the United States, partly offsetting declines in Mexico and China, which had been among the company's fastest-growing markets. Herbalife, which sells its products via direct distributors, backed its 2009 earnings outlook of $2.90 a share to $3.10 a share.

"I am very pleased that in these unprecedented economic times, excluding currency fluctuations, our net sales are off less than one percent from a year ago," Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Johnson said in a statement.

Herbalife shares were up $2.08, or 9 percent, to $24.98 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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