SunOpta Posts Q1 Loss, Despite 46th Consecutive Quarter of Revenue Gains

Natural and organic food supplier and processor SunOpta announced a first quarter loss of $1.7 million, driven by a foreign currency exchange loss of $1 million, according to financial results released by the company on May 7. SunOpta posted a $1.5 million gain during the same quarter in 2008.


The company produced its 46th consecutive quarter of increased revenue as sales reached $232 million, up from $230 in 2008. Positive contributors included an $8.4 million increase in revenues from the SunOpta Food Group and the continued growth turned in by the Organic Corporation, an April 2008 acquisition made by SunOpta. Factors that negatively impacted the business included the previously mentioned exchange fluctuations, inventory deleveraging, a $1 million startup cost associated with the company’s soymilk processing plant in Modesto, CA., as well as nearly $7 million in revenue declines in the company’s non-core businesses.

President and CEO, Steve Bromley, commented on operating in an uncertain economic environment. “The first quarter was marked by continued consumer uncertainty and market volatility resulting from the deterioration in global economic conditions,” he said in a prepared statement. “While market conditions were difficult, we have remained focused on numerous cost control, efficiency, product development and asset utilization initiatives that we believe will position the Company for improved returns,” he went on to note.

NBJ featured a piece on SunOpta and the company’s switch to a vertically integrated business model in the March 2009 issue of NBJ. As part of the profile, NBJ spoke with Joseph Stern, president of SunOpta’s International Sourcing and Trading Group, and he foresaw some difficulties arising out of the economic conditions and consumers’ willingness to pay a price premium for organic products. “Our global sourcing business seems to be holding strong. But we are definitely feeling a downturn in organic commodities and foreign exchange issues have negatively impacted our business,” he told NBJ in March 2009, prior to the release of SunOpta’s financial results. Still, Stern expressed optimism for the company’s long-term performance as he pointed to the company’s position as the primary supplier in a number of organic food categories. To read more about NBJ’s profile of SunOpta, please visit our 2009 March Issue Page.

Related NBJ links:
Dannon, SunOpta Introduce New Leaders
SunOpta and Hain Celestial Keep the Acquisitions Coming
NBJ Stock Index Closes 2008 37% Under for the Year

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