SunOpta posts 85 percent profit jump

SunOpta posts 85 percent profit jump

Canadian company reports a record second quarter driven by strong packaged food sales.

SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or "the Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, announced financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.

For the second quarter of 2012, the Company reported earnings of $8.1 million or $0.12 per diluted common share, as compared to earnings of $4.4 million or $0.07 per diluted common share for the quarter ended July 2, 2011, an 85 percent increase in earnings over the second quarter of last year. Excluding discontinued operations, earnings for the second quarter of 2012 were $7.6 million or $0.11 per diluted common share versus $5.6 million or $0.08 per diluted common share in the prior year. These earnings are a second quarter record for the Company after excluding one-time items in certain prior years. Included in earnings for the second quarter were approximately $1.7 million in pre-tax severance, acquisition and start-up costs ($1.1 million after tax), offset by a $0.7 million after tax gain on the sale of Purity Life Natural Health Products and approximately $0.7 million in tax adjustments that lowered the Company's effective tax rate. Prior year earnings from continuing operations included pre-tax gains on the sale of assets of $3.0 million and a favorable adjustment of a legal claim of $0.5 million.

For the second quarter of 2012, the Company reported quarterly revenues of $282.3 million versus revenues of $275.2 million for the quarter ended July 2, 2011, a year over year increase of 2.6 percent. Excluding the impact of changes including foreign exchange rates, commodity-related pricing, acquisitions and rationalized product lines, revenues increased approximately 5 percent on a consolidated basis. The increase in consolidated revenues in the second quarter was driven by strong growth in integrated packaged food product categories within SunOpta Foods and the steel products segment within Opta Minerals Inc. These increases were somewhat offset by the effect of lower commodity grain sales, albeit at improved margins, and decreased volumes in the Company's European organic ingredients operation.

Operating income for the second quarter of 2012 increased to $14.3 million or 5.1 percent of revenues versus $9.8 million or 3.6 percent of revenues in the prior year, a year over year increase of 46.7 percent. This increase was primarily led by a significant improvement in operating income in the Grains and Foods Group versus the prior year.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2012, the Company realized EBITDA1 of $19.4 million as compared to $14.2 million for the quarter ended July 2, 2011, a year over year increase of 36.6 percent.

For the two quarters ended June 30, 2012, the Company reported earnings of $14.0 million or $0.21 per diluted common share, as compared to earnings of $9.5 million or $0.14 per diluted common share for the two quarters ended July 2, 2011, a 48 percent increase in earnings compared to last year. Excluding discontinued operations, earnings for the two quarters ended June 30, 2012 were $13.0 million or $0.19 per diluted common share versus $11.1 million or $0.17 per diluted common share in the prior year. These earnings are a first half record for the Company after excluding one-time items in certain prior years. Included in earnings for the two quarters ended June 30, 2012 were approximately $2.2 million in pre-tax severance, acquisition and start-up costs ($1.4 million after tax), offset by a $0.7 million after tax gain on the sale of Purity Life Natural Health Products and approximately $0.7 million in tax adjustments that lowered the Company's effective tax rate. Prior year earnings from continuing operations included pre-tax gains on the sale of assets of $3.0 million and favorable settlement of a legal claim of $0.5 million.

For the two quarters ended June 30, 2012, the Company reported revenues of $541.6 million versus revenues of $520.5 million for the two quarters ended July 2, 2011, a year over year increase of 4.1 percent. Excluding the impact of changes including foreign exchange rates, commodity-related pricing, acquisitions and rationalized product lines, revenues increased approximately 6 percent on a consolidated basis. The increase in consolidated revenues in the first two quarters of 2012 was driven by strong growth in integrated packaged food product categories within SunOpta Foods and the steel products segment within Opta Minerals Inc. These increases were somewhat offset by the effect of lower commodity grain sales, albeit at improved margins, and decreased volumes in the Company's European organic ingredients operation.

Operating income1 for the two quarters ended June 30, 2012 increased to $27.1 million or 5.0 percent of revenues versus $21.5 million or 4.1 percent of revenues in the prior year, a year over year increase of 26.1 percent. This increase was primarily led by improved operating income in the Grains and Foods Group versus the prior year.

For the two quarters ended June 30, 2012, the Company realized EBITDA of $36.9 million as compared to $30.4 million for the two quarters ended July 2, 2011.

At June 30, 2012, the Company's balance sheet reflects a current ratio of 1.47 to 1.00, and a total debt to equity ratio of 0.51 to 1.00. At June 30, 2012, the Company has total debt outstanding of $159.1 million, total assets of $643.5 million and a net book value of $4.75 per outstanding share. During the quarter, the Company generated cash from operating activities of $28.8 million versus $20.5 million in the prior year, indicative of improved earnings and improved cash provided by working capital.

Steve Bromley, Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta, commented, "We are very pleased with our second quarter and first half results as they reflect continued momentum in our core natural and organic foods business, plus the positive impact of operational improvements which we have continued to implement. During the quarter, we realized strong cash flows, and subsequent to quarter end announced the amendment and expansion of our syndicated credit facilities that support our core food platform in North America. These new facilities will provide additional flexibility in support of our internal growth initiatives as well as potential acquisitions. We remain confident in our focus on natural and organic foods and our strategy to improve operating margins and return on assets, and are encouraged by our progress."

 

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