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Viterra profit falls 10 per cent on tax, bond redemption charges

A Viterra grain storage facility in Saskatoon. The federal government has approved the acquisition of Viterra by Swiss-based Glencore International.

Liam Richards/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Grain handler Viterra Inc. says a big one-time income tax charge and costs associated with the early redemption of company bonds drove down net profits in the third quarter.

Calgary-based Viterra, which is being acquired by commodities trader Glencore International PLC in a $6.1-billion deal, said Thursday that net earnings were $111-million or 30 cents per share for the three months ended July 31. That compared with earnings of $123-million or 34 cents per share in the year-earlier period.

Viterra said the results were hurt by a one-time income tax item of $31-million and $21-million in costs associated with the early redemption of company bonds.

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Revenue was $2.21-billion, up from $2.18-billion in the year-earlier period.

The company said a strong performance from its agri-products segment helped it achieve EBITDA for the quarter of $288-million, an increase of 15 per cent over $251-million of EBITDA in the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2011.

EBITDA, or earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization, is a non-standard accounting term that some companies believe gives a truer indicator of their performance.

"Viterra once again achieved impressive quarterly results," president and CEO Mayo Schmidt said.

"For the year our agri-products business segment has delivered record results. Our grain handling and processing business segments have also performed well."

Viterra, with operations across Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and China, provides ingredients to leading global food manufacturers.

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