Canadian dairy products maker Saputo has reported a 26.5% rise in quarterly earnings, as sales were boosted by higher cheese prices in the US.

The company posted net earnings of C$58.3m (US$44.3m) for the first quarter to 30 June, compared to $46.1m in the year-ago quarter. Revenues totalled $1.02bn, up 24.8% from revenues of $816.8m a year earlier.

Saputo said the rise in the average selling price per pound of cheese on the US market, combined with the increase in sales volumes in Canada, as well as the contribution of the company's latest acquisition in Argentina during the period, were the driving factors behind the increase in revenues.

The company added that it was focusing research and development efforts in its bakery division on certain specific characteristics of current consumer trends towards products with lower fat and trans-fat content.