Canadian cheese maker Saputo has posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher cheese prices in the US.

Montreal-based Saputo reported earnings of C$58.2m (US$43.5m), or 56 cents a share, for the second quarter to 30 September, compared to earnings of $42.1m, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales rose 6% to $915.3m. Analysts had been expecting, on average, profit of 46 cents a share, on sales of $889.0m.

Operating profit at the company's Canadian dairy division rose 5% to $43.0m, while in the US operating profit doubled to $44.6m.

Saputo said higher cheese prices and volumes in the US, combined with lower milk prices, raised profit margins and offset the impact of the higher Canadian dollar, reported Reuters.