October 30, 2014 / 11:35 AM / 4 years ago

Maple Leaf quarterly loss widens on restructuring costs

(Reuters) - Canadian food processor Maple Leaf Foods Inc reported a slightly bigger quarterly loss on higher charges related to modernizing some of its meat plants.

Costs at its prepared meat business, which contributes more than 90 percent to the company’s total revenue, rose by C$14.6 million ($13.06 million ) to C$25.2 million during the third quarter.

Maple Leaf, whose brands include Schneiders meat, is upgrading its meat operations, while shutting some plants, as it seeks to boost profit and better compete with U.S. rivals.

As part of its plan to focus on its meat operations, Maple Leaf, in May, had sold its bakery business — Canada Bread Co — to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo.

The company reported a net loss from continuing operations of C$26.7 million,($23.88 million) or 19 Canadian cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with C$24.5 million, or 18 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, its quarterly loss narrowed to 13 Canadian cents per share, from 19 Canadian cents per share.

Maple Leaf Foods, which is one of Canada’s biggest pork processors, said total sales rose 8.2 percent to C$820 million as it sold more fresh pork in the quarter, and raised prices of its meat products.

Shares of the Toronto, Ontario-based company closed at C$20.14 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Reporting by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Tresa Sherin Morera

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