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Maple Leaf Foods Q4 profit down 80% year over year

Food company reports profit drops to $11.9 million from $59 million a year ago

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Maple Leaf Foods Inc. raised its dividend as it reported its fourth-quarter profit fell nearly 80% from a year ago.

The company says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 14.5 cents per share, up from its previous payment of 13 cents per share.

The increased payment to shareholders came as the company reported a profit of $11.9 million or 10 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31. That is down nearly 80% from a profit of $59.1 million or 45 cents per diluted share in the last three months of 2017.

Sales totalled $893.9 million, up from $876.8 million.

Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter amounted to 29 cents per share, down from 41 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The average analyst estimate was a profit of 34 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

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