Maple Leaf Foods third-quarter profit beats on overall sales growth

FILE PHOTO: A sign for the Maple Leaf food processing plant is seen in Toronto August 21, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

(Reuters) - Maple Leaf Foods Inc MFI.TO, one of Canada's biggest pork processors, posted a quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates, helped by growth across all its businesses.

The company, whose brands include Schneiders and Maple Leaf, said adjusted operating earnings rose to C$65.15 million in the third quarter from C$61.52 million a year earlier.

Maple Leaf’s sales increased 6.6 percent to C$908.4 million.

The company’s net earnings jumped 18.2 percent to C$37.6 million ($29.4 million), or 29 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Excluding items, the company earned 39 Canadian cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 38 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said the prepared meats business, its biggest, witnessed margin compression due to high raw material costs.

($1 = C$1.28)

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel