July 31, 2009 / 1:27 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-George Weston posts per-share loss on big charges

* EPS loss C$0.05 vs profit C$0.84 year ago

* Revenue 2.2 percent higher

OTTAWA, July 31 (Reuters) - George Weston Ltd (WN.TO), North America's largest baked goods maker, reported a quarterly per-share loss on Friday as a C$90 million ($83 million) foreign exchange charge and bigger financing charges more than offset revenue growth.

Weston, which owns top Canadian supermarket chain Loblaw (L.TO), earned C$4 million, which translated to a loss of 5 Canadian cents a share. In the same period last year it earned C$118 million, or 84 Canadian cents a share.

The results include a C$90 million charge, or 61 Canadian cents per share, for unrealized foreign exchange losses from the company's U.S. dollar cash and short-term investments.

Interest expense and other financing charges jumped 35 percent to C$147 million in the quarter.

The company said its operating income declined 6.2 percent to C$288 million, and operating margin fell to 3.8 percent from 4.2 percent.

Revenue increased 2.2 percent to C$7.48 billion in the 12 weeks ended June 20.

The company said it will face challenging conditions in the second half of 2009 due to unfavorable economic conditions. To offset expected pressure on margins and volumes, Weston said it will continue work to cut costs. ($1=$1.08 Canadian) (Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by John Wallace)

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