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Saputo anticipates recovery in 2023 after capping year with lower Q4 profits

CEO says it was a rough quarter for its U.S. operations, while Canada performed in line with expectations

Saputo Inc. expects profits to recover next year after it capped a difficult fiscal year with net income plunging 64% in the fourth quarter as it endured challenging market conditions that mainly impacted its U.S. operations.

The Montreal-based dairy company pointed to labour shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures.

Saputo reported a profit of $37 million or nine cents per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of $103 million or 25 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Adjusted profits were $108 million or 26 cents per share, down from $124 million or 30 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Revenue totalled $3.96 billion for the quarter, up 15 per cent from $3.44 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

Saputo was expected to report 25 cents per share in adjusted profits on $3.69 billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

"Our fourth quarter was challenging, notably in the U.S., as we navigated through commodity price volatility, increases in input and logistics costs, and labour and supply constraints, made even tougher by the Omicron surge," stated board chairman and CEO Lino Saputo Jr.

"Nevertheless, our Canada, Argentina and U.K. businesses continued to perform well and were in line with our expectations."

For the full-year, Saputo earned $274 million on $15 billion of revenues, compared with $626 million on $14.3 billion of revenues in 2021.

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