WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wisconsin/PRNewswire/ — Northland Cranberries, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: NRCNA – news), manufacturer of Northland brand 100% juice cranberry blends and Seneca brand fruit juice products, today reported fiscal 2001 fourth quarter and year-end financial results for the periods ended August 31, 2001. For the three-month period ended August 31, 2001, Northland reported a net loss of $70.9 million, or $13.95 per share, on net revenues of $31.4 million. During the comparable quarter last year, the company lost $79.8 million, or $15.70 per share, on net revenues of $34.0 million. For the year ended August 31, 2001, the company recorded a net loss of $74.5 million, or $14.65 per share, on net revenues of $125.8 million. This compares to fiscal 2000 year-end loss of $105.0 million, or $20.65 per share, on net revenues of $207.0 million. (All per share information has been restated to reflect the one-for-four reverse stock split effective at the close of business on November 5, 2001.)

The significant net losses for the fiscal 2001 periods included an inventory lower of cost or market adjustment of $17.6 million and a writedown of long-lived assets and assets held for sale in the amount of $80.1 million. Operational factors contributing to the charges included the continuation of depressed cranberry prices resulting from an industry-wide surplus of fruit, heavy price and promotional discounting by major competitors and a previous lack of sufficient working capital to adequately promote the company’s products. These charges were partially offset by a $32.8 million income tax benefit recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 related to certain net operating loss carryforwards which will be utilized to offset debt forgiveness income related to the previously announced November 6, 2001 financial restructuring. Included in the net loss for fiscal 2000 was a $57.4 million inventory lower of cost or market adjustment (of which $30.4 million was recorded in the fourth quarter) and a $6.0 million fourth quarter writedown of assets held for sale.

John Swendrowski, Northland’s chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “Fiscal 2001 was another challenging year for us following the difficult year we experienced in fiscal 2000. During the year, we experienced cash flow difficulties that dramatically limited our ability to market and support our products. In addition, heavy price and promotional discounting by Ocean Spray and other competitors resulted in lost distribution and decreased market share of our products in various markets. For the 12-week period ended September 9, 2001, industry data indicated Northland brand 100% juice products had a 6.0% market share of the supermarket shelf-stable cranberry beverage category, compared to a 10.9% market share for the same period last year.

“Despite these ongoing difficult industry conditions, we are now able to focus our efforts on a return to profitable operations. We expect our recently completed financial restructuring to provide us with sufficient working capital and new borrowing capacity to once again aggressively market and support the sale of our Northland and Seneca brand juice products in fiscal 2002, as well as significantly reduce our interest expense.”

Northland is a vertically integrated grower, handler, processor and marketer of cranberries and value-added cranberry products. The company processes and sells Northland brand 100% juice cranberry blends, Seneca brand juice products, Northland brand fresh cranberries and other cranberry products through retail supermarkets and other distribution channels. Northland also sells cranberry and other fruit concentrates to industrial customers who manufacture juice products. Northland shares are traded on the over the counter bulletin board under the ticker symbol NRCNA.

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SOURCE: Northland Cranberries, Inc.