LONDON (AP) _ SmithKline Beecham PLC said Wednesday its first quarter net profit fell 22 percent from a year ago, when the sale of several food brands inflated its profit, the Anglo-American pharmaceutical firm said Wednesday.

Net profit for the three months ended March 31 came to $277 million, or 20.9 cents per share. That compares with with $353 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier, when the company had a $129 million extraordinary gain as a result of the sale of several British food lines.

Sales fell percent to $1.9 billion from $2 billion.

The company converted pound figures to dollars at the exchange rates of $1.73 to the pound for the latest quarter and $1.57 to the pound a year ago.

The company said its operating profit was up 9 percent to $463 million.