Canada-based dairy giant Saputo posted a 2.2% increase in first-quarter net income today (4 August), boosted by acquisition-related gains that offset falling cheese prices.


The Montreal-based company saw its net income edge up to C$84.8m (US$79.4m) in the three months to 30 June, from C$83m in the previous year.


Revenue also increased, reaching C$1.44bn from C$1.36bn in the comparable period of fiscal 2008/9.


Saputo attributed the figure to the contribution of revenues from its dairy products division, following the acquisition of Neilson Dairy.


EBITA rose 5.4% to C$158.5m. The increase was partially offset by a decrease in profits from Saputo’s Argentina division and the lower average price of cheese in the US.


Saputo also announced a 3.6% increase in its quarterly dividend, lifting it from 14 cents per share to 14.5 cents per share.


Saputo bought Neilson Dairy, the dairy division of Weston Foods (Canada) in December.


The C$465m acquisition was to enable Saputo to increase its presence in Ontario in the markets for fluid milk and cream.