UPDATE 1-Dairy Saputo posts higher quarterly profit

Thu Feb 5, 2015 12:53pm EST
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(Adds revenue results, expectations, share activity and market factors)

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Saputo Inc, Canada's largest dairy producer, on Thursday reported higher quarterly earnings, lifted by a jump in revenue that included its Australian acquisition.

The Montreal-based company, whose brands include Dairyland milk and Armstrong cheese, is among the top three cheese producers in the United States and also has significant operations in Argentina and Australia.

Higher U.S. prices of cheese and butter boosted revenue from that country.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased internationally due to Saputo's purchase early last year of a majority stake in Australia's Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co Holdings Ltd.

The company said EBITDA from Canada fell due to greater competition and higher warehousing and logistical costs.

In the third quarter ended on Dec. 31, net income rose to C$154.6 million ($124.31 million), or 38 Canadian cents a share, from C$144.1 million, or 37 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 41 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue climbed 20 percent to C$2.8 billion, above analysts' forecasts of C$2.66 billion.   Continued...