Saputo profit jumps 17 pct on higher cheese, butter prices

Reuters – Canada’s largest dairy producer Saputo Inc reported a 17 per cent jump in quarterly earnings on Thursday, boosted by higher U.S. cheese and butter prices and recent acquisitions.

The Montreal-based company, whose brands include Dairyland and 1/2 Moon cakes, said it intends to buy back 5 per cent of its common shares during the next year.

Saputo’s shares gained 2.8 per cent to C$32.01 in afternoon trading in Toronto.

For the second quarter ended Sept. 30, net income rose to C$155.7 million ($136.17 million), or 39 Canadian cents a share, matching Street expectations, from C$133.3 million, or 34 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Revenue during the quarter climbed 21 percent to C$2.7 billion, helped by this year’s acquisitions of Canada’s Scotsburn dairy and a majority stake in Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Ltd.

Analysts were expecting Saputo to earn revenue of C$2.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (1 US dollar = 1.1434 Canadian dollar)

Reporting for Reuters by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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