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Maple Leaf Foods Inc. reported a third-quarter profit of $66 million, up from $13.4 million in the same quarter last year, as its sales also climbed higher.

The company says the profit amounted to 53 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 11 cents per share a year earlier.

The increase come as Maple Leaf says strong performance by its meat protein group more than offset costs to mitigate COVID-19 risks, strategic investment in its plant protein group, as well as a favourable resolution of an income tax audit last year.

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Sales for the quarter totalled $1.06 billion, up from $995.8 million a year ago.

The company’s meat protein group reported sales growth of 6.4 per cent, while the plant protein group saw sales growth of 9.3 per cent.

On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf says it earned 17 cents per share for the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of three cents per share in the same quarter last year.

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