Premium Brands Q1 profit holds steady compared with year ago, sales up

VANCOUVER – Speciality food company Premium Brands Holdings Corp. (TSX:PBH) reported Thursday its first-quarter profit held about steady compared with a year ago as sales improved.

The company said it earned nearly $1.2 million or six cents per diluted share in the quarter ended March 30 compared with a profit of nearly $1.2 million or five cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $229.2 million, up from $216.4 million in the first quarter of 2012.

“Although we are pleased with our overall performance for the quarter, we still have some work to do,” president and chief executive George Paleologou said in a statement.

“We have made significant capital investments in many of our businesses over the last year and a half and expect to start generating solid returns on these initiatives in the coming quarters.”

In March, Premium Brands increased its quarterly dividend in conjunction with the closing of its purchase of deli foods producer Freybe Gourmet Foods Ltd.

The company will pay a quarterly dividend of 31 cents per share from 29 cents, payable July 15 to shareholders of record on June 28.

Premium Brands produces and sells specialty foods and has operations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nevada and Washington.