April 28 (Reuters) - Canada Bread posted a first-quarter loss, hurt mainly by a C$20.1 million pre-tax restructuring cost to shut a fresh bakery facility in March.
Adjusted operating earnings in the quarter fell 19 percent to C$16.7 million as the increase in prices to offset rising costs came at the end of the quarter and volumes in the North American frozen bakery business fell.
However, the Toronto-based company said it expects the price increases to strengthen margins and it expects its U.K. bakery business to continue improving through the rest of the year.
The company posted a first-quarter net loss of C$966,000, or 4 Canadian cents per share.
It had earned C$13.0 million, or 51 Canadian cents per share, a year ago.
The company, 90 percent owned by Maple Leaf Foods Inc , said adjusted earnings were flat at 56 Canadian cents per share.
Sales for the quarter fell marginally to C$371.8 million from C$381.9 million, last year, mainly on the sale of its fresh sandwich product line in February.
Analysts on an average were expecting the company to earn 55 Canadian cents on revenue of C$257.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of the company closed at C$46.50 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Maneesha Tiwari in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)