Company News

Canadian dairy Saputo reports smaller profit as sales shrink

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Saputo Inc, one of Canada’s largest dairy producers, reported slightly lower quarterly earnings on Thursday, pressured by lower Canadian sales volumes.

The Montreal-based company agreed in October to buy Murray Goulburn Co-operative for C$1.3 billion including debt, continuing a growth by acquisition strategy.

The deal would make Saputo Australia’s top milk producer and expand its access to China.

For its fiscal second quarter, net income dipped 3 percent to C$185.2 million, or 47 Canadian cents a share, falling short of expectations for 52 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

A year ago, Saputo, whose brands include Dairyland milk and Armstrong cheese, earned C$191.8 million, or 48 Canadian cents.

Revenue during the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, rose 1 percent to C$2.9 billion as expected.

Saputo’s shares dipped 1 percent to C$45.94 in Toronto. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Tom Brown)