Maple Leaf profit jumps by over 70 per cent

Reuters — Meat processor Maple Leaf Foods on Wednesday reported a 70.4 per cent jump in quarterly profit as lower costs and higher prices boosted earnings at its prepared meats business.

Maple Leaf said adjusted operating earnings in its meat products unit, the company’s primary source of income, more than doubled to $65.93 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

The company’s net earnings rose to $31.83 million, or 23 cents per share, from $18.68 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier.

Maple Leaf recently completed a program started in 2010 to boost earnings by shutting some plants and modernizing others.

On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf earned 32 cents per share, in line with the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total sales for Canada’s biggest pork processor rose 4.1 per cent to $852.1 million, beating analysts’ average estimate of $843 million.

Reporting for Reuters by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg and Ahmed Farhatha in Bangalore.

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