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MAPLE LEAF FOODS REPORTS CONTINUED STRONG RESULTS FOR THIRD QUARTER ENDING SEPT. 30, 1991

 MAPLE LEAF FOODS REPORTS CONTINUED STRONG RESULTS
 FOR THIRD QUARTER ENDING SEPT. 30, 1991
 TORONTO, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSE: MLF) today announced that it continued to post strong results in the third quarter of 1991, with an increase in both earnings from operations and net earnings over the 1990 third quarter.
 Net earnings for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 1991 increased by 36 percent to $17.2 million or 27 cents per share, from $12.6 million or 19 cents per share in 1990. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, net earnings increased to $44.4 million or 68 cents per share, from $26.3 million or 40 cents per share in 1990. Operating earnings as a percentage of sales in the third quarter increased to 4.1 percent from 3.6 percent in 1990.
 Sales for the quarter were down 12 percent compared to 1990, reflecting a planned reduction due to the closure of beef facilities in 1991 and the sale of the peanut butter and dairy businesses.
 David Newton, president and CEO stated that "in spite of a markedly weak economy, which shows little sign of immediate improvement, Maple Leaf Foods is successfully weathering the storm and consistently reporting improved operating results over previous quarters and last year."
 He went on to say that "this has been made possible by continued pro-active rationalization and cost improvement programs, which, coupled with further product range development, should form the basis for ongoing improvement into the fourth quarter."
 Review of Operations
 During the quarter, the Consumer Foods Group (formerly the Processed Foods Group) changed its operating company names to better reflect the nature of its consumer based business. Its four businesses now are: Prepared Meats, Grocery Products, Food Service and Prepared Poultry. In the third quarter, Prepared Meats recorded improved earnings compared to 1990, with the new Maple Leaf Wise Choice brand performing well. The Grocery Products results, on a comparable basis, were higher than 1990, while earnings of the Food Service business, which continue to be affected by the recession, declined from 1990. Prepared Poultry has yet to show the full benefits of its manufacturing and production strategy which includes the current upgrade at the Brantford facility.
 The Milling & Baking Group earnings, although improved from the second quarter, were less than the comparable 1990 results due to lower earnings from the flour business. Costs have reduced following closure of the West Toronto production facility, however, general pressure on margins continues because of overcapacity in the Canadian flour business and the impact of Free Trade since May this year. The bakery business earnings maintained second quarter levels despite being affected by increasing competition and margin pressure in the marketplace. New product development continues, with the introduction earlier this month of Garden Vegetable Bread and Chocolate Bread, both under the Dempster's brand name.
 The Agribusiness Group earnings improved over 1990 mainly due to rationalization of the company's beef business and improved earnings in the pork business. The reduction to a single shift at the Hoffman processing facility, higher throughput at the newly acquired Fearman operation, and increased supply of live hogs contributed to the improvement in pork. The rendering businesses continued to record good results. While the poultry business showed some improvement over the second quarter, as a result of lower prices for live birds and improvements in the balance of supply and demand for poultry meat, poultry results continue to be well below 1990 levels. Structural changes within the poultry industry are required in order to return the business to acceptable levels of profitability. In the interim, the company is implementing plans to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in this business. The benefits of these actions will not be evident before 1992. The recently announced closure of the plant in Aurora, Ontario forms a part of this initiative. Both the capital employed and operating earnings in the Agribusiness Group are improving as the beef operations diminish in size and the large associated working capital balances are liquidated.
 The Industrial Product Group earnings for the quarter improved from 1990, mainly due to improving earnings from Shur-Gain and Edible Oils, which offset the loss of earnings from Sea Farm Canada which was sold effective Aug. 31, 1991. In the Shur-Gain business, benefits arising from the rationalization of the Quebec hog farming business and continued good results from the core animal feed business contributed to the improvement.
 At the corporate level, declining interest rates and substantial reductions in net borrowings together have enabled the company to reduce debt service costs by 55 percent in the third quarter compared to last year.
 Business Development
 On October 1, the company received proceeds of $226.5 million from a successful treasury offering of 15.1 million common shares at an issue price of $15 per share. After expenses, the net proceeds from the issue are approximately $222 million. Hillsdown Holdings, the majority shareholder, purchased 8.4 million shares in order to maintain its approximate 56 percent ownership interest in the company. As a result, the company is now in a positive cash position, compared to a net borrowing position of $123.9 million at the end of the third quarter and $274.4 million at Sept. 30, 1990. With a strong balance sheet, the company is well placed to fund investments through selective capital expenditures and acquisitions to achieve its goal to become a low cost, profitable food company with a major presence in North America. After the issue, shareholders' equity has increased to $880 million, compared to $634 million at the end of 1990.
 On October 4, the company closed its beef operation located in Red Deer, Alberta after a protracted search to find a buyer for this business. The company has also reached agreement in principle to sell its remaining beef operation located in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan as a going concern, subject to completion of a purchase and sale agreement. On completion of this sale, the withdrawal from the troubled Canadian beef business will be complete, allowing significant capital which was tied up in this loss making operation to be used more effectively in other areas of the business. In addition, the sale of the Moose Jaw facility will provide continuity of employment for 175 employees.
 In early October the company announced plans to close its Aurora, Ontario poultry plant on November 29. This will reduce the number of poultry processing plants operated by the company in Ontario to six, and represents a further step in consolidating its poultry business.
 Effective August 31, the company sold its 50 percent share in Sea Farm Canada, a salmon farming and marketing operation, to an associate of its joint venture partner.
 The directors declared a quarterly dividend of 9.5 cents per share, payable Dec. 31, 1991, to shareholders of record at Dec. 6, 1991.
 Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is the largest food processing company in Canada with operations across Canada, in the United States and in Europe. The company's products include fresh, processed and canned meats, fresh and frozen bakery products, wheat flours, poultry, seafood, edible oils, animal feeds and veterinary products. Its products are sold to retail, food service, wholesale, agricultural and industrial customers worldwide.
 MAPLE LEAF FOODS INC.
 (Proforma(A), in millions, except per share amounts)
 Periods ended: Quarter Nine months
 Sept. 30: 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Sales $796.0 907.4 2,471.2 2,847.3
 Earnings from operations 32.8 32.5 83.9 78.8
 Other income (expense) 2.4 2.1 12.0 (0.6)
 Interest expense 3.8 8.5 12.3 24.1
 Earnings before income taxes
 & minority interest 31.4 26.1 83.6 54.1
 Income taxes 12.6 12.0 34.8 23.8
 Earnings before
 Minority interest 18.8 14.1 48.8 30.3
 Minority interest 1.6 1.5 4.4 4.0
 Net earnings 17.2 12.6 44.4 26.3
 Earnings per share $.27 $.19 $.68 $.40
 Divs. declared per share $.095 $.095 $.0285 $.0285
 Weighted average no. of
 shares (in millions) 65.7 65.6
 (A) -- Comparative Proforma Statements of income for the third quarter and the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1990 represent the combined results of Canada Packers Inc. and Maple Leaf Mills Limited as if the businesses had been combined on Jan. 1, 1990.
 -0- 11/20/91
 /CONTACT: L.N. Rose, vice president finance & CFO, 416-926-2023, or A.F. Devlin, 416-926-2047, for Maple Leaf Foods/
 (MLF.) CO: Maple Leaf Foods Inc. ST: Ontario IN: FOD SU: ERN


TS -- NY033 -- 5390 11/20/91 11:41 EST
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