Operating Earnings Up 24%; Earnings Per Share Up
Toronto, Ontario – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX:MFI)
today reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30,
“Maple Leaf achieved another quarter of solid earnings growth, as we continue
to leverage the value of our assets, improve operating performance and shift
our operations and sales mix to higher value-added products,” said Michael H.
McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are particularly pleased
with the growth of our Bakery Products Group, which realized a 133% increase in
earnings quarter-over-quarter, as well as increased earnings in our Meat
Products Group, which more than offset lower earnings in the Agribusiness
In accordance with recent changes in generally accepted accounting principles,
effective January 1, 2002 the Company no longer amortizes goodwill, resulting
in a positive impact on 2002 earnings. The effect of this is explained more
fully in note 1 to these financial statements. All comparative percentage
increases noted here are after taking account of this change.
Sales for the second quarter increased 4% to $1.3 billion from $1.2 billion for
the same period last year, a positive result considering the substantial
decline in many key underlying commodity values. Earnings from operations of
$51.3 million increased from $38.9 million last year ($41.4 million before
goodwill amortization), an
increase of 24%. This increase is principally due to very strong results in the
Bakery Products Group and higher Meat Products earnings. Net earnings for the
second quarter of $22.6 million ($0.19 per share) increased from $12.8 million
($0.12 per share) in 2001 ($15.0 million or $0.15 per share before goodwill
amortization), an increase of 27%. Earnings for the first six months were $39.5
million or $0.33 per share compared to $27.0 million or $0.26 per share last
year on the same basis.
Other income for the second quarter of $3.9 million compared to $1.0 million
for the same period last year, reflecting increased earnings from real estate
operations. Interest expense for the quarter of $15.0 million decreased from
$17.1 million for the prior year due to lower debt and interest rates.
Year-to-date interest expense was $28.4 million compared to $33.4 million in
The Company’s cash flow from operating activities for the second quarter was
$78.9 million compared to $90.9 million last year, reflecting higher cash
earnings, offset by higher investments in working capital.
Meat Products Group (branded value-added prepared meat products; fresh, frozen
and branded value-added pork products; fresh, frozen and branded value-added
chicken and turkey products; and global food marketing, distribution and
Meat Product Group sales for the second quarter decreased 9% to $751 million
from $827 million last year. While volumes increased from last year, sales
values were impacted by reduced prices for pork and poultry products as a
result of low commodity prices. Year-to-date sales of $1.5 billion were
consistent with last year. Earnings from operations increased 43% to $14.7
million, compared to $9.1 million for the same period last year ($10.2 million
before goodwill amortization). Earnings for the first six months were $27.1
million, an increase of 25% over last year. Maple Leaf Pork continues to
benefit from its focus on shifting product and sales mix to increasingly higher
value-added products. Consumer Foods earnings also increased in the second
quarter, driven in part by market share improvements in its Top Dogs brand of
hot dogs, and the success of a new line of Top Dogs MegaBites. Earnings
declined in the Maple Leaf Poultry operations, the result of industry-wide
margin pressure due to a surplus in supply and lower prices, a market condition
that is expected to continue for the balance of the year.
Agribusiness Group (research, development and supply of quality livestock
nutrition products and services; pet food; swine production; and animal
Agribusiness Group sales for the second quarter increased 8% to $241 million
compared to $224 million last year, while year-to-date sales were $462 million
compared to $425 million last year. Operating earnings were $17.5 million
compared to $22.6 million for the same period last year ($23.0 million before
goodwill amortization), a decrease of 24%. Earnings for the first six months
were $34.8 million compared to $37.5 million for the prior year. The decrease
in profitability was primarily due to lower hog prices, which impacted the
Group’s hog production operations. However, the Company’s Vertical Coordination
strategy offset this impact with increased profitability at the Maple Leaf Pork
and Maple Leaf Consumer Foods operations. Earnings in the feed business
declined slightly due to unsettled spring weather and a slow down in feeding
Bakery Products Group (fresh, frozen and branded value-added bakery products,
including frozen par-baked bakery products; and specialty pasta and sauces)
Bakery Product Group sales for the second quarter of $287 million increased 65%
from $174 million for the same period last year and year-to-date sales
increased to $552 million from $338 million last year. The increase was
principally due to strong performance in fresh and frozen bakery operations and
significant contributions from Multi-Marques Inc. (Quebec) and the New York
Bagel Company (United Kingdom), both of which were purchased in the second half
of 2001 and continue to exceed expectations. In addition, on April 11, 2002,
the Company acquired the remaining shares of Ben’s Bakery Limited in Atlantic
Canada, which also contributed to increased sales and profitability
quarter-over-quarter. Excluding the effect of these acquisitions, sales for the
quarter increased by 8%.
Earnings from operations for the second quarter of $19.2 million increased from
$7.2 million for the same period last year ($8.3 million before goodwill
amortization), an increase of 133%. Earnings for the first six months were
$31.2 million, a 101% increase from last year.
On July 18, 2002 Canada Bread announced that it had acquired the Olafson’s
Baking Company, Inc. of Delta, British Columbia. With annual sales of
approximately $30 million, Olafson’s specializes in the production of premium
value added bakery products, which are highly complementary with Canada Bread’s
existing product line. The acquisition of Olafson’s will expand the range of
products Canada Bread can offer its national customers and provides a strong
platform for growth.
The Company declared a dividend of $0.04 per share payable on September 30,
2002 to shareholders of record on September 20, 2002.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company committed
to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs more than 14,000 people
at its operations across Canada, and in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. reported sales of $4.8 billion in 2001.
A conference call will be held at 3:00 p.m. (Toronto time) on July 24, 2002 to
review Maple Leaf Foods’ financial results for the second quarter ended June
30, 2002. The call will be hosted by Michael H. McCain, President & Chief
Executive Officer; Tom P. Muir, Chief Financial Officer and Michael H. Vels,
Executive Vice-President, Finance.
To participate in the call, please dial in to 1-888-740-8770. For those unable
to participate playback will be made available an hour after the event at
1-800-558-5253 passcode # 20736878.