November 10, 2010 / 10:23 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-SunOpta posts Q3 profit on gain from divested asset

* Q3 EPS $0.52 vs loss/shr $0.07 yr-ago

* Q3 revenue up 3 pct at $217.9 mln

* Says Q3 income includes $34.6 mln gain from unit sale

Nov 10 (Reuters) - Canadian organic food processor SunOpta Inc SOY.TO (STKL.O) posted a quarterly profit, helped by a gain from the sale of its ethanol producing non-core unit.

Third-quarter net income came in at $34.1 million, or 52 cents a share, up from a loss of $4.7 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago.

The latest quarter profit includes a gain of $34.6 million from the sale of loss-making SunOpta BioProcess unit in September.

Revenue at the Brampton, Ontario-based company rose about 3 percent to $217.9 million.

Earnings from operations came in at $5.3 million, or 8 cents a share.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn 8 cents on revenue of $226.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

SunOpta, which said on Monday it would buy Dahlgren & Co -- a processor and distributor of sunflower seed snacks -- has been steadily taking steps to establish itself as a pureplay organic and natural food maker. [ID:nSGE6A70OT]

Its shares have gained 79 percent in value since May, when it sold its food distribution assets to United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI.O) to focus on its profitable organic foods business. [ID:nSGE6800IM]

Shares closed at C$7.49 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Gowri Jayakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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