MONTREAL — Net earnings at Saputo Inc. in the second quarter ended Sept. 30 totaled C$129.7 million ($130.1 million), equal to C$0.66 per share on the common stock, up 2% from C$127.1 million, or C$0.63 per share, in the same period a year ago. EBITDA, meanwhile, rose 1% to C$215.6 million ($216.3 million), up from C$213.1 million.

Sales for the second quarter were C$1,745.4 million ($1,750.9 million), down 3% from C$1,791.4 million. Saputo said the decline reflected a lower average block market per lb of cheese in the USA Dairy Products sector and smaller sales volumes in the Canadian, European and Argentine (CEA) Dairy Products sector. The losses were partially offset by a more favorable dairy ingredients product mix in the United States and higher selling prices in relation to the higher cost of milk in the Canadian Division.

EBITDA in the company’s Grocery Products segment in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 increased 17% to C$3.4 million from C$2.9 million. Sales rose nearly 3% to C$36.1 million from C$35.2 million.

EBITDA in the company’s CEA Dairy Products sector fell 10% to C$122 million compared with C$135.7 million a year ago. EBITDA for the U.S. Dairy Products sector increased 21% to C$90.2 million.

For the first six months of fiscal 2013, net income totaled C$251.5 million, or C$1.27 per share, down narrowly from C$253.6 million, or C$1.25 per share, in the same period a year ago. EBITDA in the first half was C$418.6 million, down from C$422.7 million. Sales for the first half were C$3,443.7 million compared with C$3,430.4 million in the same period a year ago.

Looking ahead, Saputo said its USA Dairy Products sector will seek opportunities to mitigate the effect of higher milk costs resulting from amendments to the milk pricing formula in California. The company also said it will monitor the fluctuating dairy markets in an effort to make appropriate decisions to mitigate the impact on its operations. The Grocery Products sector, meanwhile, will continue to focus on increasing sales volumes in the snack cake category, with the main focus on the development of sales in the United States.