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George Weston Ltd. WN-T raised its quarterly dividend as it reported its first-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago as it was hit by one-time charges related to its large stake in Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust CHP-UN-T.

The company, which also holds a majority interest in Loblaw Cos. Ltd. L-T, says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 82 cents per share, up from 71.3 cents per share.

The increased payment to shareholders came as George Weston says its profit attributable to common shareholders totalled $236-million or $1.73 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 23.

The result was down from a profit of $426-million or $3.01 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

Revenue for the quarter totalled $13.74-billion, up from $13.13-billion a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, George Weston says it earned $2.30 per diluted share, up from an $1.99 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

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