Maple Leaf profit up

(Reuters) — Maple Leaf Foods reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher earnings in its prepared meats business.

Adjusted operating earnings in the meat products segment rose nearly eight-fold to $61.3 million in the first quarter, helped by lower operating costs and price increases.

Overall net earnings were $42.3 million in the quarter ended March 31, up from a loss of $2.9 million a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf earned 28 cents per share.

Total sales rose 2.1 percent to $796.9 million.

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