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George Weston reports Q1 profit, raises quarterly dividend

The company reported a $363-million profit compared with a loss of $62 million a year ago

George Weston Ltd. raised its dividend by 10% as it reported a profit attributable to shareholders in its latest quarter compared with a loss a year ago.

The company, which owns large interests in Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 66 cents per share, up from 60 cents.

Chairman and chief executive Galen G. Weston says the firm's operating companies are delivering on their strategic agendas, positioning the company well for continued value creation.

The increased payment to shareholders came as George Weston reported a first-quarter profit available to common shareholders from continuing operations of $363 million or $2.45 per diluted share compared with a loss of $62 million or 41 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 26 totalled $12.41 billion, up from $12.02 billion in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, George Weston says it earned $1.90 per diluted share from continuing operations compared with an adjusted profit of $1.60 per diluted share from continuing operations a year earlier.

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