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Saputo profit jumps 10.8% on milk price gains

The head office of Saputo Inc. in Montreal.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/The Globe and Mail

Saputo Inc. booked a 10.8-per-cent increase in third-quarter earnings on higher selling prices and the impact of the acquisition of a U.S. dairy producer.

The Montreal-based dairy processing giant that has just won a drawn-out takeover battle in Australia said on Thursday that third-quarter profit was $144.1-million or 73 cents a share, up from $130-million or 65 cents in the year-earlier period.

Revenue in the third quarter reached $2.34-billion, up 30 per cent from $1.8-billion a year earlier, mostly due to the acquisition of Morningstar Foods in late 2012, but also as a result of higher prices in relation to the higher cost of milk and higher sales volumes in both Canada and the international segment.

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Those gains were partly offset by lower cheese sales volumes and the negative impact of the lower average block market per pound of cheese in the U.S., the company said.

Saputo also said it now has a 79-per-cent stake in Australian dairy producer Warrnambool Cheese and Butter.

The offer is set to close on Feb. 12.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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