OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's biggest cheese maker, Saputo Inc (SAP.TO), reported a 21 percent jump in first-quarter profit on Wednesday as higher revenue and prices more than offset the impact of a stronger Canadian dollar.
The dairy and cheese processor said it earned C$83 million ($79 million), or 40 Canadian cents a share, in the period ended June 30. That compares with a profit of C$68.4 million, or 33 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
Montreal-based Saputo also said it would increase its quarterly dividend to 14 Canadian cents a share from 12 Canadian cents.
Analysts had expected a profit of 40 Canadian cents a share before items, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue increased 11 percent to C$1.36 billion, getting a big boost from the company's U.S. dairy products sector, which reflected Saputo's acquisition of Alto Dairy Cooperative in April and higher cheese prices.
Appreciation of the Canadian dollar took a C$44 million bite out of revenue, Saputo said.
Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Peter Galloway