July 30, 2015 / 9:35 PM / in 2 years

Canadian meat processor Maple Leaf Food's loss narrows

(Reuters) - Canadian meat processor Maple Leaf Foods Inc (MFI.TO) reported a smaller loss due to a steep fall in restructuring costs as the company’s multi-year program to upgrade its meat operations nears completion.

A sign for the Maple Leaf food processing plant is seen in Toronto August 21, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Restructuring costs fell about 64 percent to C$7.3 million ($5.6 million) in the second quarter ended June 30, the company said on Thursday.

Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s biggest pork processors, rolled out a program in 2010 to boost earnings by shutting some plants and modernizing others.

The company, which has processing plants and distribution centers across Canada, said it closed the last of its remaining legacy facilities in the quarter.

Maple Leaf Foods’ net loss from continuing operations narrowed to C$7.5 million ($5.8 million), or 5 Canadian cents per share, from C$39.5 million, or 28 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 13 Canadian cents per share.

Sales fell 1.3 percent to C$820.8 million.

Sales in the Meat Products Group, which includes products sold under brands such as Maple Leaf, Schneiders, fell 1 percent to C$817.2 million.

The business, the majority contributor to total sales, was hurt by lower prices for fresh pork, the company said.

Up to Thursday’s close of C$23.69, shares of the Toronto-based company had gained about 22 percent this year.

Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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