UPDATE 1-Saputo profit gets lift from higher cheese prices

* EPS C$0.47 vs analyst forecast C$0.46

* Revenue falls to C$1.38 billion from C$1.46 bln

* To save C$6.5 mln annually from new distribution center

OTTAWA, June 9 (BestGrowthStock) – Saputo Inc (SAP.TO: ) posted a 37
percent jump in quarterly profit on Wednesday, as higher cheese
prices and increased efficiency more than offset a drop in
revenue at the dairy products company.

Saputo, Canada’s biggest cheese maker, said it earned
C$99.1 million ($95.3 million), or 47 Canadian cents a share,
in the fourth quarter, ended March 31. That compared with a
profit of C$69.2 million, or 33 Canadian cents a share, a year
earlier.

Revenue fell 5.2 percent to C$1.38 billion, hurt by a
negative currency impact as the Canadian dollar strengthened
against the U.S. dollar and other currencies.

Analysts had expected, on average, earnings of 46 Canadian
cents a share before items and revenue of C$1.47 billion,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Montreal-based Saputo said that its recently announced
plans to consolidate its Toronto distribution center are
expected to be completed this autumn and will generate
after-tax savings of about C$6.5 million annually.

The company also said it will pursue expansion in fiscal
2011 through both internal growth and acquisitions. It plans to
invest in projects to boost capacity in its Canadian specialty
cheese facilities.

It will seek volume growth at its diary operations in
Argentina, but expects a difficult year in Europe because of
higher milk costs.

Acquisition-hungry Saputo bought the Neilson Diary division
of George Weston Ltd (WN.TO: ) for C$465 million in late 2008,
gaining its line of milk products, dairy drinks, cream products
and nondairy creamers, butter, yogurt and juices.

Earlier that year, it bought Wisconsin-based Alto Diary.

Saputo shares, which are down about 4 percent this year,
were off 5 Canadian cents at C$29.35 on the Toronto Stock
Exchange early Wednesday afternoon.

Stock Report

($1=$1.04 Canadian)
(Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson)

UPDATE 1-Saputo profit gets lift from higher cheese prices