SYSCO Corp., Houston, TX, reported sales in its first quarter ended Sept. 29, 2007, grew 8.5% to $9.4 billion from the same period last year. Sales from acquisitions in the past 12 months contributed 0.2% to the sales growth.   ; Food cost inflation, as estimated by the change in SYSCO's cost of goods, was 5.9% for the quarter.   ; Profit was $267 million, up from $230 million in the same period a year ago, an increase of 16%.   ; SYSCO reported that it saw unusually high food cost inflation" for the second consecutive quarter. (See 3Q Inflation Trends by Commodity Group) These conditions contributed to a 21 basis point reduction in gross margins and a 51 basis point decrease in operating expenses as a percentage of sales from the same period last year.