Earnings for the fourth quarter, ended 31 December 2004, rose 18% to CAN$75.3m  (US$60.6m) from $63.6 million in the same period in 2003. Earnings for the year as a whole rose to $256.4 from $152.4 in 2003.

“Our performance in 2004 reflects the underlying strength of our balanced portfolio of bakery and protein value chain operations,” said Michael McCain, president and Chief Executive Officer.

Sales for the fourth quarter increased 40% to $1.8 billion compared to $1.3 billion last year. Sales for the year were $6.4 billion compared to $5.0 billion for 2003. The increase in 2004 sales was primarily due to the acquisition of Schneider Foods on April 5, 2004. Excluding Schneider Foods, sales increased 11% in the fourth quarter and 5% in 2004.