MILAN, March 20 (Reuters) - Italy's dairy group Parmalat , at the centre of a legal dispute over its $900 million acquisition of a U.S. sister company last year, expects core profits and sales to rise about 5 percent in 2013 as it focuses on new products.
The maker of long-life milk and cheese snacks, majority owned by French cheesemaker Lactalis, said on Wednesday it would pay a dividend of 0.039 euro per share out of its 2012 profits, down from 0.052 euro per share a year ago.
Revenues rose 16.4 percent to 5.2 billion euros, matching analyst expectations, helped by the acquisition of Lactalis American Group, higher prices and strong sale volumes in Australia, Russia and Africa.
Core earnings (EBITDA) rose 17.4 percent to 439 million euros, meeting the group's own targets.
The company cut its dividend payout mainly because of lower dividend income from its Canada subsidiary. (Reporting by Antonella Ciancio, editing by Danilo Masoni)