April 27 (Reuters) - Meat-packaging company Maple Leaf Foods Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by increased retail sales in Canada and higher exports.
The Canada-based company, whose brands include Schneiders and namesake Maple Leaf, said adjusted operating earnings rose 10 percent to C$59 million ($43 million) in the first quarter ended March 31.
Maple Leaf, which is Canada’s biggest pork processor, is on a hunt for acquisitions in the United States, after years spent upgrading old factories and shedding business lines.
In February, the company bought U.S.-based Lightlife Foods Inc, a manufacturer of plant-based protein foods, for $140 million, Maple Leaf’s first material deal since 2004.
The company said on Thursday its net earnings fell 28.8 percent to C$30.1 million, or 22 Canadian cents per share, from a year earlier, hurt by restructuring charges.
On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf earned 33 Canadian cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate by 3 Canadian cents.
The company’s sales rose 1.8 percent to C$811.2 million.
$1 = C$1.36 Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Robin Paxton and Maju Samuel