February 7, 2012 / 5:48 PM / in 6 years

Saputo earnings rise after acquisition

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian dairy producer Saputo Inc SAP.TO reported higher profits and revenue on Tuesday, helped by improved efficiency and last March’s acquisition of Wisconsin’s DCI Cheese Co.

The Montreal-based company said those factors, as well as higher exports by its division in Argentina and a favorable dairy ingredients market in Canada, offset poorer U.S. results.

Saputo, which produces and distributes milk, cheese and some baked goods from nearly 50 plants in North America, South America and Europe, said milk costs hurt its U.S. results.

Net earnings for the quarter ended December 31 rose to C$129.8 million ($130.5 million) or 64 Canadian cents a share, from C$112.1 million, or 54 Canadian cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 17.1 percent to C$1.80 billion.

Saputo shares were little changed at C$40.86 early Tuesday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1 = $0.99 Canadian)

Reporting By Allison Martell

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