•  Net profit soars 72%
  •  Operating profit reaches C$12.7m
  •  Net sales grow 8.7%
Grain-based foods boost SunOpta sales

Grain-based foods boost SunOpta sales

Canada-based natural and organic food group SunOpta has booked "record" earnings in the third quarter of the year.

In the three months ended 29 September, net profit soared 72% to C$5.8m (US$5.86m). The group said the earnings are "a third-quarter record" for SunOpta, after excluding certain non-recurring items in prior years.

Third quarter earnings include the impact of around C$0.9m in pre-tax severance, acquisition and start-up costs.

Operating income in the period increased 72% to C$12.7m, while sales climbed 8.7% to C$279.3m.

Revenues were driven by "strong growth" across integrated grains-based food product categories and higher sales within Opta Minerals Inc. as a result of recent acquisitions.

Show the press release

unOpta Announces Record Third Quarter and Year-to-Date Earnings


TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, today announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 29, 2012. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.

Third Quarter 2012 Highlights:

    Revenues increased to $279.3 million, an increase of 8.7% versus Q3 2011
    Operating income increased to $12.7 million, an increase of 72% versus Q3 2011
    Operating margin increased to 4.5% of revenues versus 2.9% in Q3 2011
    Earnings of $5.8 million, an increase of 72% versus Q3 2011 and a record for the Company
    Earnings per diluted common share increased to a record $0.09 versus $0.05 in Q3 2011
    EBITDA increased to $17.8 million, an increase of 50.5% versus Q3 2011

"We are very pleased with our third quarter financial results, reflecting higher revenues and a 72% increase in both operating income and earnings versus the prior year," commented Steve Bromley, SunOpta's Chief Executive Officer. "We continue to execute on our core strategies focused on streamlining our organization, growing our value-added packaged foods and ingredients portfolio, and leveraging our existing platform. We are pleased with our progress to-date and remain confident in our opportunities to grow our global integrated natural and organic foods platform."

Third Quarter 2012 Results

Revenues for the third quarter increased 8.7% to $279.3 million as compared to $257.0 million in the third quarter of 2011. Excluding the impact of changes including foreign exchange rates, commodity-related pricing, acquisitions and rationalized product lines, revenues increased approximately 6% on a consolidated basis versus the prior year. The increase in consolidated revenues in the third quarter was driven by strong growth across integrated grains-based food product categories within SunOpta Foods and higher sales within Opta Minerals Inc. as a result of recent acquisitions. These increases were somewhat offset by the effect of lower fiber and fruit ingredients sales and decreased revenues in the Company's European organic ingredients operation.

Operating income1 increased 72.4% to $12.7 million, or 4.5% of revenues, for the third quarter of 2012 as compared to $7.4 million, or 2.9% of revenues, for the same period last year. This increase was led by a significant improvement in operating income in the Grains and Foods Group versus the prior year as a result of increased volumes of aseptically packaged grains-based beverages and strong organic grains and feedstuff sales, as well as significantly improved results in Opta Minerals and reduced selling, general and administrative costs due in part to streamlining and rationalizations completed over the past year.

Earnings for the third quarter of 2012 were $5.8 million, or $0.09 per diluted common share, as compared to $3.4 million, or $0.05 per diluted common share, for the third quarter of 2011. These earnings are a third quarter record for the Company after excluding certain non-recurring items in prior years. Third quarter earnings include the impact of approximately $0.9 million in pre-tax severance, acquisition and start-up costs ($0.5 million after-tax).

For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, the Company realized EBITDA1 of $17.8 million as compared to $11.9 million for the third quarter of 2011, a year-over-year increase of 50.5%.

The effective tax rate for the third quarter of 2012 was 39.1% as compared to 27.3% in the third quarter of 2011. The increase in the effective tax rate is primarily a result of increased earnings in higher tax jurisdictions in 2012 and the net effect of certain tax credits that were realized in the third quarter of 2011.

Year-to-Date 2012 Results

For the first three quarters of 2012 revenues increased 5.6% to $821.0 million versus revenues of $777.5 million in the same period last year. Excluding the impact of changes including foreign exchange rates, commodity-related pricing, acquisitions and rationalized product lines, revenues increased approximately 5% on a consolidated basis. The increase in consolidated revenues for the first three quarters was driven by strong growth within integrated packaged food product categories and higher sales within Opta Minerals Inc. as a result of recent acquisitions. Those increases were somewhat offset by the effect of lower fiber and fruit ingredients sales and decreased revenues in the Company's European organic ingredients operation.

Operating income1 for the first three quarters increased to $39.8 million, or 4.9% of revenues, versus $28.9 million, or 3.7% of revenues, in the prior year, a year-over-year increase of 37.9%. This increase was primarily led by improved operating income in the Grains and Foods Group and Opta Minerals versus the prior year.

For the three quarters ended September 29, 2012, the Company reported earnings of $19.8 million, or $0.30 per diluted common share, as compared to earnings of $12.8 million, or $0.19 per diluted common share, for the same period last year, a year-over-year increase of 54.4%. Excluding discontinued operations, earnings were $18.6 million, or $0.28 per diluted common share, versus $14.8 million, or $0.22 per diluted common, share in the prior year. Included in earnings for the first three quarters of 2012 were approximately $3.1 million in pre-tax severance, acquisition and start-up costs ($1.9 million after-tax), offset by a $0.7 million after-tax gain on the sale of Purity Life Natural Health Products and approximately $0.5 million in tax adjustments that lowered the Company's effective tax rate.

The effective tax rate for the first three quarters of 2012 was 34.0% as compared to 35.2% in 2011.

For the first three quarters of 2012, the Company realized EBITDA1 of $54.8 million as compared to $42.2 million for the nine months ended October 1, 2011, a year-over-year increase of 29.7%.

Balance Sheet

The Company's balance sheet remains strong, and shareholders' equity increased to $320.2 million as of September 29, 2012. At the end of the third quarter of 2012, the Company's balance sheet reflects a current ratio of 1.51 to 1.00, and a total debt to equity ratio of 0.52 to 1.00.  At September 29, 2012, the Company had total debt outstanding of $165.0 million, total assets of $669.3 million and a net book value of $4.85 per outstanding share. For the first three quarters of 2012, the Company generated cash from operating activities of $38.0 million versus cash used in operating activities of $2.7 million in the prior year, indicative of improved earnings and improved cash provided by working capital.

Original source: SunOpta