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MAPLE LEAF FOODS RELEASES FULL YEAR 1991 RESULTS WITH CONTINUED EARNINGS GROWTH

 MAPLE LEAF FOODS RELEASES FULL YEAR 1991 RESULTS
 WITH CONTINUED EARNINGS GROWTH
 TORONTO, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSE: MLF) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 The 1991 results reflect the company's first full year following the combination of its predecessor companies, Canada Packers Inc. and Maple Leaf Mills Limited, effective June 30, 1990.
 Net earnings for 1991 totalled $67.2 million or 97 cents per share, up 54 percent from $41.1 million or 63 cents in 1990. Net earnings from continuing operations totalled $59.4 million, or 86 cents per share, up 62 percent from $34.6 million or 53 cents per share in 1990. Sales of $3.0 billion declined from $3.6 billion in 1990, primarily as a result of the sale and closure of businesses during 1991, including the dairy and beef operations. Due to the impending sale of the Edible Oils business, its results are included in net earnings from discontinued operations.
 For the 1991 fourth quarter, net earnings were $22.9 million or 29 cents per share, compared to $14.8 million or 23 cents per share for the prior year. Net earnings from continuing operations in the 1991 fourth quarter totalled $19.4 million or 24 cents per share, up 20 percent from $13 million or 20 cents per share in 1990.
 David Newton, president and chief executive officer, said: "During the year the company substantially improved net earnings and shareholder value. In addition, we have made significant progress towards our goal of strengthening core operations and our balance sheet, while exiting businesses in which we could not foresee acceptable longer term returns."
 Earnings in the Consumer Foods Group increased from $33.6 million in 1990 to $37.2 million in 1991, despite a decrease in sales of 24 percent resulting from the sale of its Dairy and Peanut Butter businesses. Much of this improvement resulted from improved margins brought about by extensive cost and overhead reductions, efficiency and market share improvements.
 In the Milling and Baking Group, earnings reduced from $31.6 million in 1990 to $25.6 million in 1991. Continued strong performances in the bakery, retail franchise and international businesses were offset by decreased earnings from flour milling. Flour milling was affected throughout the year by falling margins due to overcapacity in the Canadian flour milling industry and pressure from the acceleration of free trade. The positive effects of the ongoing internal management restructuring, coupled with the finalization of the West Toronto flour mill closure and the Port Colborne start up, will improve results going forward. Today's announcement of a planned joint venture with ConAgra Inc., one of the leading U.S. flour millers, will strategically position the milling business for the future.
 Earnings in the Agribusiness Group, which now includes the results of the Shur-Gain animal feed operations, increased marginally from $57.6 million in 1990 to $57.9 million in 1991. Many of the group's individual businesses, particularly rendering, Northam Food, International Trade and pork, reported improved earnings, however, these were partially offset by sharply reduced earnings from the poultry business, which was affected by excessive supply and the high price of live chickens established by chicken marketing boards.
 Interest expense for the year declined from $27.2 million in 1990 to $7.3 million in 1991 as a result of increases in cash balances and declining interest rates. The company's cash position at the end of the year, net of debt, was $151 million.
 Net earnings from discontinued businesses increased from $6.5 million in 1990 to $7.8 million in 1991 principally as a result of good fourth quarter earnings and reduced interest costs.
 Maple Leaf Foods is Canada's largest food processing company with operations across Canada, in the United States and Europe. The company's products include fresh and prepared meats, poultry, flour and bakery mixes, fresh and frozen bakery products, seafood and animal feeds. Its products are sold to retail, food service, wholesale, agricultural and industrial customers worldwide.
 MAPLE LEAF FOODS INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 (Unaudited, in thousands of Canadian dollars,
 except per share amounts)
 Periods ended: Quarter Year
 Dec. 31: 1991 1990 1991 1990 1990
 Pro forma(A) Statutory(B)
 Sales $738,155 $908,531 $3,035,084 $3,588,181 $2,138,660
 Earnings
 from
 operations 32,547 45,906 112,264 113,881 90,639
 Other income
 (expense) 2,019 (6,906) 8,227 (7,531) 2,239
 Interest
 expense
 (income) (2,473) 5,909 7,262 27,212 25,440
 Earnings
 before
 income
 taxes 37,039 33,091 113,229 79,138 67,438
 Income taxes 15,178 18,159 46,906 38,562 33,775
 Earnings
 before
 minority
 interest 21,861 14,932 66,323 40,576 33,663
 Minority
 interest 2,461 1,932 6,932 5,947 5,809
 Net
 earnings
 from
 continuing
 operations 19,400 13,000 59,391 34,629 27,854
 Discontinued
 operations 3,478 1,762 7,837 6,473 3,268
 Net earnings $22,878 $14,762 $67,228 $41,102 $31,122
 Earnings
 per share
 From
 continuing
 operations $0.24 $0.20 $0.86 $0.53 $0.66
 Net earnings $0.29 $0.23 $0.97 $0.63 $0.74
 Dividends
 declared
 per share $0.095 $0.095 $0.38 $0.38 $0.19
 Weighted
 average
 number of
 shares (millions) 69.2 65.6 42.2
 (A) -- Pro-forma results: twelve months for Maple Leaf Mills and six months post June 30 for Canada Packers.
 (B) -- Statutory results: twelve months for Maple Leaf Mills and six months post June 30 for Canada Packers.
 Consolidated Balance Sheets as at December 31, 1991 and 1990
 (Unaudited, in thousands of Canadian dollars)
 Dec. 31: 1991 1990
 Assets
 Current Assets
 Cash and cash
 equivalents $228,973 $16,137
 Accounts receivable 249,056 228,882
 Inventories 191,786 243,566
 Prepaid expenses 10,239 9,172
 Total 680,054 497,757
 Investments
 in associated
 companies 48,729 43,123
 Property and equipment 573,719 597,419
 Goodwill 112,725 110,376
 Other assets 15,926 14,104
 Total $1,431,153 $1,262,779
 Liabilities and
 Shareholders' Equity
 Current liabilities
 Bank indebtedness -- $75,021
 Accounts payable and
 accrued charges 362,629 396,140
 Income and other
 taxes payable 26,014 16,001
 Current portion of
 long-term debt 63,713 1,907
 Total 452,356 489,069
 Long-term debt 14,232 97,598
 Deferred income taxes 27,721 9,356
 Minority Interest 38,299 32,416
 Shareholders' Equity
 Share capital and
 contributed surplus 839,599 616,514
 Retained earnings 59,494 18,654
 Unrealized foreign
 currency adjustment (548) (828)
 Total 898,545 634,340
 Total $1,431,153 $1,262,779
 Total cash, net of debt $151,028 ($158,389)
 -0- 3/11/92
 /CONTACT: L.N. Rose, Chief Financial Officer of Maple Leaf Foods, 416-926-2023/
 (MLF.) CO: Maple Leaf Foods Inc. ST: Toronto IN: FOD SU: ERN


TS -- NY004 -- 7158 03/11/92 08:01 EST
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Date:Mar 11, 1992
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