Maple Leaf Foods has reported a drop in first-half earnings due to ongoing issues at its protein business.

In a regulatory filing issued today (31 July), Maple Leaf said that it racked up a net loss of C$14.7m in the six months to 30 June, down from a net profit of C$20.2m in the comparable period of last year. Adjusted operating earnings dropped by more than two-thirds in the period, sinking to C$30.35m from C$94.82m in the first-half of 2012.

Maple Leaf has been hit by problems at its protein business. Poor hog production returns, weak global pork markets and commodity volatility all hit the bottom line, CEO Michael McCain said. “These factors more than offset strong growth in prepared meats volumes from earlier in the year and solid improvement in the Bakery segment, which we expect will accelerate,” he added.

While profits were significantly down on lower margins, the group booked a less exaggerated drop in sales during the period. Total revenues slipped to C$2.32bn in the period, down from C$2.42 in the comparable period of last year.

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