Maple Leaf positive about rest of 2015

Maple Leaf positive about rest of 2015

Maple Leaf Foods president and CEO Michael McCain said today (31 July) the Canadian group was "pleased with its progress" in the second quarter, with volumes up, margins improving and losses narrowing.

The company booked a net loss from continuing operations of C$7.5m (US$5.8m) for the quarter to the end of June, compared to a loss of C$39.5m last year. The improved result, due in part to lower costs from the company's restructuring programme this year, meant Maple Leaf's half-year net loss was C$10.3m, versus C$164.2m in the first half of 2014.

For the first six months, adjusted operating earnings improved to C$32.2m, compared to a loss of C$42m last year. Maple Leaf benefited from improved margins and reduced duplicative overheads in prepared meats, plus improved margins in fresh poultry.

Sales from continuing operations were $1.6bn, up 3.8%, or 2.5% after adjusting for the impact of foreign exchange. Maple Leaf pointed to improved volumes and a favourable sales mix, partially offset by lower selling prices due to lower market values within the company's meat products division. The lower prices did trim sales in Maple Leaf's second quarter, with sales from continuing operations dipping 1.3% to C$820.8m.

Looking ahead, McCain said: "Over the balance of the year, we have aggressive plans to build on our commercial momentum and a clear line of sight on how to capture the additional benefits from our new plants and deliver our 10% EBITDA margin target."