Canada Bread’s third-quarter results reveal increases in its sales of fresh and frozen bread, despite a fall in net earnings of 6.4% compared to the same period last year.

The company, which is 89.8% owned by Maple Leaf Foods, has experienced a 19.2% increase in fresh bakery sales to C$290.2m (£157.3m) for the period to 30 September 2008. Its frozen bakery sales, which includes its North American and UK operations, rose 7.4% to C$152.9m (£82.9m), due to price increases and acquisitions in this area.

"Management anticipates that the combination of the price increases implemented earlier in the year and lower commodity prices will continue to improve margins through the end of the year," said a company statement.

"Earnings strengthened as commodity markets began to decline late in the quarter and we benefited from significant capital investments that have lowered our operating costs," said Richard Lan, president and chief executive officer.

"While wheat prices are declining, labour, packaging and other input costs have increased. We expect previously implemented price increases to continue to improve margins through the end of the year."