Canadian cheese company Saputo has reported a 21.5% rise in fourth-quarter earnings, boosted by higher cheese prices in the US.

The company reported net earnings of C$58.1m (US$43.0m) for the fourth quarter to 31 March, compared to $47.8m in the year-ago period.

Revenues totalled $945.9 million, compared to $807.1m in the same period of fiscal 2003. Revenues were boosted by higher cheese prices on the US market and higher US sales volumes.

For the full year, the company reported net earnings of $212.4m, compared to $173.7m for fiscal 2003. Revenues rose 5.1% to $3.57bn.

Saputo also announced that Carmine De Somma will head its international operations, as president and chief operating officer. De Somma has been with the company for 16 years where he has held numerous positions.

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