George Weston to close unprofitable bakery in U.S. amid frozen food challenges
W. Galen Weston, Executive Chairman of the Board speaks to shareholders at the George Weston Limited annual general meeting in Toronto, on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Nathan Denette)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, November 21, 2017 1:42PM EST
TORONTO -- George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN) says it will close an unprofitable frozen cake factory in the U.S. by the end of the first quarter of 2018 as it reviews its strategy in light of challenges in its frozen food business.
The bakery and grocery store owner says some of the work will move to a facility in Cobourg, Ont.
It's third-quarter results include $11 million year-to-date in depreciation costs related to the planned closures of bread, pie and cake manufacturing facilities.
Still, the company reported third-quarter profit was up from a year ago, boosted by its Loblaw Companies Ltd. business, offset in part by its Weston Foods operations.
The company says it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $420 million or $3.25 per diluted share in the quarter ended Oct. 7, up from $254 million or $1.97 per diluted share a year ago.
On an adjusted basis, George Weston says it earned $277 million or $2.14 per share, up from $266 million or $2.06 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.
Sales totalled $14.65 billion, up from $14.61 billion.
Last month, the company confirmed it was aware of an industry-wide investigation by the Competition Bureau into price-fixing related to packaged bread products.
George Weston says court filings by the regulator remain sealed while searches are completed, but it expects to be able to comment further after those filings are unsealed.