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Viterra profit more than doubles to $67-million ahead of takeover

A Viterra grain storage facility is shown August 30, 2007 near Regina, Sask.

TROY FLEECE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canadian agribusiness Viterra Inc., which is on the verge of being acquired by a Swiss commodities giant, says its profit rose to $67-million in the second quarter — more than double what it had the same time last year.

On a per-share basis, Viterra earned 18 cents — up from eight cents a year earlier when net income was $30-million.

Viterra's profit was better than a consensus estimate of 12 cents per share compiled by Thomson Reuters.

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Its adjusted earnings hit $185-million in the three months ended April 30, a record for the quarter and up 43 per cent from a year earlier.

The report comes as Swiss commodities trading giant Glencore International PLC prepares to complete its acquisition of the grain handler and farm supplier.

Viterra shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the $6.1-billion takeover offer, worth $16.25 per share in cash, but the deal still requires certain approvals in Canada and abroad.

"We are very proud of the successful business we have built and the contribution we have made to the industry and the communities in which we operate," Viterra chief executive May Schmidt said in a statement.

"Viterra's value has been recognized by our global agricultural peers with the recent acquisition interest and the significant premium being paid by Glencore to acquire the company."

The bulk of Viterra's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and revenue came from grain handling and marketing with significant contributions from agri-products and processing.

EBITDA from grainhandling was $141-million, up 14 per cent from a year earlier; with $2.7-billion of revenue. Agriproducts added $64-million of EBITDA and $691-million of revenue while processing accounted for $28-million of EBITDA and $326.8-million of revenue

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