Natural and organic food group SunOpta booked an increase in full-year sales and earnings despite "commercial and operational pressures" experienced at its consumer products unit.
The Canada-based firm said revenue increased 9% in 2014, rising to a “record” US$1.24bn. The increase was driven by "strong demand" for organic raw materials at its ingredients business, as well as "continued growth" in consumer packaged categories.
Operating income rose to $45.2m from $37.7m in 2013. The company said margins were up, rising to 3.6% from 3.3%, thanks to higher volumes on higher margin organic raw materials. A stronger performance from SunOpta Foods, where margin expanded to 3.8% of sales and operating profit increased to $41.7m from $31m in 2013, was somewhat offset by increased pressure at Opta Minerals. The company is in the process of divesting this unit to focus on foods.
Net earnings rose to $8.4m in the year, compared to a loss of $9m in 2013.