Canada-based food manufacturer and retailer George Weston Limited has reported another quarter of rising sales for its Weston Foods business, contributing to top-line growth and improved earnings from the unit during the first nine months of the year.

Weston Foods generated sales of CAD673m (US$502.3m) for the 16 weeks to 8 October, up 3.7% on a year earlier. George Weston pointed to higher volumes and said foreign exchange, which had given a boost to Weston Foods’ reported sales in the first quarter of the year, had “a nominal positive impact” on sales in the third quarter.

Over the first 40 weeks of George Weston’s financial year, sales from Weston Foods increased 7.1% to CAD1.73bn, in part reflecting the boost from exchange rates earlier in the year. However, the underlying sales from Weston Foods in each of the first three quarters of the year was 4.8%, 4.3% and 3.7% respectively.

Third-quarter adjusted EBITDA from Weston Foods increased 4.1% to CAD101m. Over the first nine months of the financial year, the division’s adjusted EBITDA rose 2.3%.

George Weston maintained its forecast for Weston Foods’ adjusted EBITDA to rise in 2016 as a whole. However, the company said the amount it would spend on capital investments in the business was now expected to be CAD210m, compared to a previous estimate of CAD275m.

The group added: “The competitive retail landscape continues to intensify, particularly in fresh bakery and this will put added pressure on the business.” That remark was a slight tweak from “may put added pressure on the business” when George Weston reported its second-quarter numbers. 

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