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Saputo's logo as seen at their 2008 AGM in Laval, Que.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Dairy products company Saputo Inc. credits higher average prices and lower ingredient input costs among reasons for a more than 13 per cent improvement in fiscal 2012 first-quarter profit.

The Quebec-based company said ahead of its annual meeting Tuesday that earnings for the three months ending June 30 rose to $126.6-million (Canadian) or $0.61 per diluted share from $111.7-million or $0.53 in the same 2011 period.

Revenue increased 14.1 per cent to $1.64-billion from $1.436-billion.

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The increased was mainly due to the inclusion of the DCI acquisition, a higher average block market per pound of cheese, and a more favourable dairy ingredients market in the USA dairy products sector, Saputo said.

It also cited higher selling prices in relation to the higher cost of milk in the Canadian and Argentinean divisions of the CEA dairy products sector.

The cheese maker acquired Fairmount Cheese Holdings Inc., the parent of U.S.-based DCI Cheese Company Inc., for $270.5-million (U.S.) in March.

Saputo produces, markets and distributes a wide array of cheese, fluid milk and yogurt products as well as snack cakes in more than 50 countries.

It is the largest in dairy processor in Canada, the third-largest in Argentina and is among the top three cheese producers in the United States.

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