Saputo pointed to higher underlying EBITDA

Saputo pointed to higher underlying EBITDA

Saputo, the Canada-based dairy group, has posted lower annual profits, although it said revenues and underlying earnings rose year-on-year.

The company booked a 1.9% fall in net earnings to CAD601.4m (US$459.4m) for the year to the end of March, as restructuring costs hit its bottom line.

However, Saputo provided an adjusted EBITDA metric that excluded the restructuring costs, as well as expenses from recent acquisitions and a gain from the disposal of its bakery business. Saputo's adjusted EBITDA rose 10.6% to CAD1.17bn, helped by a 35.6% jump in adjusted EBITDA from its US business.

Saputo's revenue climbed 3.1%. Revenue from Saputo's US business was up 9.1%, in part boosted by the company's acquisition of Canadian cheese maker Woolwich Dairy in October. Ontario-headquartered Woolwich is a producer of branded and own-label goat's cheese sold in Canada and the US.

Revenue from Saputo's Canadian business dipped 0.9% as a rise in fourth-quarter sales failed to offset declines in the first three quarters of Saputo's financial year.

Saputo said revenue from its international arm, which takes in operations in markets including Argentina and Australia, fell 9%. The company reported lower sales volumes in Argentina. It said revenue in Australia rose on the back of its acquisition of cheese assets from Lion Pty Ltd, a deal that was announced in March 2015.