Canadian food manufacturer and retailer George Weston has pointed to an improved performance from both sides of its business for an increase in third-quarter profits.

The Canadian food manufacturer and retailer yesterday (22 November) posted a 50% rise in net earnings to C$264m (US$253.1m) for the 16 weeks to 8 October.

Operating income was up 12.8% at C$557m. Loblaw, in which George Weston owns a majority stake, saw its operating income increase 8.7% to C$419m. However, Weston Foods, the company's bakery manufacturing arm, saw its operating income drop by over a third to C$77m.

However, George Weston pointed to higher adjusted operating income from its Weston Foods unit. The division saw its adjusted operating income, which excludes restructuring costs and the impact of an adjustment to the value of commodity derivatives, inch up from C$85m a year earlier to C$87m.

George Weston's total operating income did receive a boost from currency fluctuation. The depreciation in the Canadian dollar led to the company reporting a foreign currency translation gain of C$61m. In last year's third quarter, an increase in the value of the Canadian dollar led to a loss of C$9m.

The company's total sales increased 2.4% to C$10.06bn thanks to higher sales from both Weston Foods and Loblaw.