SunOpta announces Q1 2011 results

SunOpta announces Q1 2011 results

SunOpta Inc. announced financial results for the quarter ended April 2, 2011. The Company realized revenues of $260.9 million in the first quarter of 2011 versus revenues of $216.7 million in the first quarter of 2010, a year over year increase of 20.4%.

SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or "the Company") STKL +0.61% CA:SOY 0.00% , a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, announced financial results for the quarter ended April 2, 2011. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.

The Company realized revenues of $260.9 million in the first quarter of 2011 versus revenues of $216.7 million in the first quarter of 2010, a year over year increase of 20.4%. Revenues increased 9.7% excluding the impact of the acquisitions completed late in 2010.

For the first quarter of 2011, the Company realized operating income1 of $11.0 million or 4.2% of revenues, an increase of approximately 14.6%, versus operating income1 in the first quarter of 2010 of $9.6 million or 4.4% of revenues. The increase in operating income was driven by increases in the Grains and Foods Group, International Foods Group and Opta Minerals Inc. combined with reduced corporate spending. Excluding the year over year impact of the foreign exchange loss (gain), operating earnings increased 31.3%.

For the first quarter of 2011, the Company reported earnings per diluted common share from continuing operations of $0.08 or $5.1 million, as compared to $0.06 or $4.2 million for the first quarter of 2010. The Company realized EBITDA1 in first quarter of 2011 of $15.9 million as compared to $14.0 million in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of approximately 13.7%.

At April 2, 2011, the Company's balance sheet reflects a current working capital ratio of 1.39 to 1.00, long-term debt to equity ratio of 0.22 to 1.00 and total debt to equity ratio of 0.62 to 1.00. During the first quarter of 2011, the Company used cash from continuing operating activities of $33.9 million as compared to $13.6 million in the first quarter of 2010, reflecting the impact of increased commodity volumes and costs and increased inventory and accounts receivable balances related to growth in the business. At April 2, 2011, the Company has total assets of $657.4 million and a net book value of $4.56 per outstanding share. At quarter-end, the Company was in compliance with its bank financial covenants.

Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta, commented, "We are pleased with our first quarter 2011 results which represent record first quarter net earnings for our Company. Operating income1 has improved in spite of rising commodity prices. We continue to streamline our portfolio and over the last twelve months have divested of three non-core operations, most recently the Mexican Frozen Fruit Assets, while over the same period acquiring two core operations. We remain focused on growing our business in fast growing healthy foods categories while at the same time improving operating margins and returns on assets employed. We believe we are well positioned to continue our profitable growth in the future."

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically significant vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company has two non-core holdings, a 66.4% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. CA:OPM 0.00% , a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials, and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.

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