SunOpta Inc., a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods and natural health products, has announced financial results for the quarter period ended April 3, 2010. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.
For the first quarter of 2010 the Company realized revenues of $266.1 million versus first quarter 2009 revenues of $232.1 million, a year over year increase of 14.7%. Revenues in SunOpta Foods were $247.6 million, an increase of 13.9% versus the first quarter of 2009. After adjusting for movements in foreign exchange rates and commodity prices, food revenues increased approximately 10.8% in the first quarter of 2010 versus the first quarter of 2009. All operating segments realized increased revenues year over year.
For the first quarter of 2010 the Company reported net income on a GAAP basis of $4.6 million or $0.07 per diluted common share versus a loss in 2009 of $(1.7) million or $(0.03) per diluted common share. Results for the quarter include additional pre-tax costs of approximately $2.4 million, including legal and professional fees and costs related to ongoing facility and operational rationalizations.
Gross margin as a percentage of revenue increased to 18.4% in the quarter versus 14.5% in the prior year. All operating segments realized improved gross margins as a percentage of revenue. Operating income(1) increased to $10.7 million or 4.0% of revenues versus negative operating income(1) in the prior year of $(0.4) million or (0.02%) of revenues. Operating income(1) in SunOpta Foods increased to $12.5 million or 5.1% of revenues versus $2.7 million or 1.3% in the prior year.
EBITDA(1) for the first quarter of 2010 increased 259% to $15.7 million versus $4.4 million in the first quarter of 2009, indicative of the improved operating performance realized in the business.
At April 3, 2010 the Company's balance sheet reflects a current working capital ratio of 1.30 to 1.00, long-term debt to equity ratio of 0.36 to 1.00 and total debt to equity ratio of 0.72 to 1.00. During the first quarter of 2010 the Company used cash from operating activities of $14.3 million, due primarily to increased accounts receivable and normal seasonal fluctuations. At April 3, 2010 the Company has total assets of $571.1 million and a net book value of $3.68 per outstanding share.
At quarter-end, the Company is in compliance with all banking covenants.
Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta commented, "We are very pleased with our first quarter results and our return to profitability. The results of the first quarter are the product of extensive initiatives we have completed, centered on improving operating results within our core business segments while at the same time improving our return on assets employed. We continue to focus on these efforts and are very pleased that the initiatives completed to date are beginning to have the expected positive effect on our results. We remain confident that our continued focus on margin improvement, when combined with strong consumer interest in health and wellness, positions our Company for long-term success."
The Company plans to host a conference call at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 to discuss these results and recent corporate developments. The conference call can be accessed via a link at the Company's website at www.sunopta.com. Additionally, the call may be accessed with the toll free dial-in number 1-877-312-9198 or 631-291-4622. A replay number can also be accessed between May 13th and 20th with the toll free dial-in number 1--800-642-1687 or 706-645-9291 followed by pass code: 71486905#.
In addition to reporting financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), the Company provides information regarding Operating Income and Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") as additional information about its operating results. The measures are not in accordance with GAAP. The Company believes that these presentations provide useful information to management, analysts and investors regarding certain additional financial and business trends relating to its results of operations and financial condition. The Company defines Operating Income as "Earnings before the following" excluding the impact of "Other expense (income), net"; and EBITDA as Operating Income plus depreciation and amortization.
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food and natural health markets. The Company has three business units: the SunOpta Foods, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products; Opta Minerals Inc. /quotes/comstock/11t!e:opm (CA:OPM 1.31, -0.44, -25.14%) (66.4 % owned by SunOpta), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and SunOpta BioProcess Inc. which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the bio-fuel, pulp and food processing industries. SunOpta believes that each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.
The SunOpta Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3958