Warrnambool expects to double profit half-year earnings in Fiscal 2014

Warrnambool expects to double profit half-year earnings in Fiscal 2014On Friday, Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Holdings Ltd said it expects to double its half-year earnings in fiscal 2014, citing improved market conditions and strategic focus.

Warrnambool, which is backing a bid from Canada's Saputo Inc , said the reason for the driving profit was a result of strong international dairy demand and pricing, a falling Australian dollar and an improved product mix.

Terry Richardson, the Chairman said the first half would provide a "robust foundation" for the balance of the year.

Earnings before interest, tax and depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the six months to Dec. 31 would go up around 100 percent from A$29.3 million ($25.94 million) in the previous corresponding half, the company said. Full-year EBITDA is pegged at between A$47 million and A$52 million, compared with A$25.5 million.

Saputo earlier this week boosted its unconditional cash offer of A$515 million to as much as A$549 million if it receives acceptances of 90 percent or more of Warrnambool shareholders.

Till Monday, Saputo had received acceptances worth 16.9 percent, taking it close to the 18 percent stakes held by each of Murray Goulburn and Bega.

Bega, appeared to pull out of the race altogether this week which kicked off the takeover war with a bid in mid-September  has since lagged the more insistent Murray Goulburn and Saputo.