Maple Leaf Foods raises dividend after four quarter profit of over $59M

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is embarking on its "most ambitious brand renovation" in the coming year to become the most sustainable protein company in the world, said CEO Michael McCain on Wednesday.

The company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 13 cents per share, up from 11 cents

Sales in the quarter ended Dec. 31 totalled $876.8 million, up from $828.2 a year earlier. (CBC)

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is embarking on its "most ambitious brand renovation" in the coming year to become the most sustainable protein company in the world, said CEO Michael McCain on Wednesday.

"Looking forward, we are excited about the future," he said in a statement as the company released its fourth-quarter earnings results.

"We have great confidence our brand strategy will support continued growth for years to come."

Further information on Maple Leaf's plans are expected to be a key topic during a company conference call with analysts scheduled later in the day, said Irene Nattel, an analyst with RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

The company delivered "solid" results for its final quarter of 2017 and the full year, Nattel added.

Maple Leaf reported a quarterly profit of $59.1 million or 47 cents per share compared with $76.2 million or 57 cents per share in the same quarter a year prior.

The company announced it would raise its quarterly dividend from 11 cents per share to 13 cents.

Sales in the quarter ended Dec. 31 totalled $876.8 million, up from $828.2 million in the last three months of 2016.

On an adjusted basis, the company said it earned 41 cents per share, up from an adjusted profit of 31 cents per share a year ago.

Analysts had expected a profit of 39 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

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