Toronto-based agribusiness giant George Weston has seen its Q1 net earnings per share increase 40% to C$0.80 (US$0.59), compared to C$0.57 in 2001. Adjusting for the discontinuance of goodwill charges, net earnings per share increased 17 cents or 27% over last year. Trailing year net earnings per share, excluding goodwill charges, unusual items in the Q4 2001 and the effect of the 2000 budgeted income tax rate changes, improved 19% to C$4.44 from C$3.74 earned during the corresponding period at the end of the Q1 2001.