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MAPLE LEAF FOODS REPORTS IMPROVEMENT IN NET EARNINGS FOR FULL YEAR 1992

 TORONTO, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Maple Leaf Foods (TSE/MSE: MLF) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1992.
 Net earnings from continuing operations increased by 16 percent to $69.2 million (86 cents per share) compared to $59.4 million (86 cents per share) in 1991. The earnings per share from continuing operations for 1992 was equal to the prior year due to the increased number of shares following the equity issue in October 1991. Net earnings for 1992, which include the results of the discontinued Edible Oils business sold in 1992, totalled $72.5 million (90 cents per share) compared to $67.2 million (97 cents per share) in 1991. Sales for the year of $2.8 billion declined from $3.0 billion in 1991, primarily as a result of the withdrawal from the beef business in 1991.
 For the fourth quarter, net earnings from continuing operations were $17.8 million (22 cents per share) compared to $19.4 million (25 cents per share) in 1991. Total net earnings of $17.8 million (22 cents per share) compared to $22.9 million (29 cents per share) in 1991. The 1991 net earnings included the result of the discontinued Edible Oil business.
 Charles Bowen, president and chief executive officer, said "We have completed the 1992 fiscal year with increased net earnings from continuing operations, consistent earnings per share from continuing operations and a strengthened base of core businesses, in spite of the severe Canadian recession and conditions which were extremely challenging for the food industry. We made strategic acquisitions totalling $48 million during the year and invested almost $50 million in the company's facilities and ongoing operations. These investments, together with the substantial margin enhancing, cost reducing and efficiency improving actions taken in previous years, provide a competitive base upon which to build in the longer term."
 Earnings in the Consumer Foods Group decreased from $37.2 million in 1991 to $32.4 million in 1992. Improvements in Grocery Products and Frozen Foods businesses were offset by reduced earnings in Prepared Meats and Food Service which were affected by the unseasonable wet summer and the impact of the difficult economic conditions.
 Earnings in the Milling and Baking Group increased sharply from $25.6 million in 1991 to $33.1 million in 1992, due to improved earnings resulting from the ConAgra flour milling joint ventures and increased contributions from acquisitions. These improved earnings offset reduced results at Corporate Foods, which suffered from increased competition and downtrading by consumers. Retail franchise operations once again recorded improved results as did the International milling operations.
 The Agribusiness Group earnings decreased from $57.9 million in 1991 to $48.4 million in 1992 due mainly to unsatisfactory earnings in the Poultry and Pork businesses, and the absence of the contribution from the Aquaculture business, which was sold in 1991. The poultry business experienced reduced margins arising from weak and unpredictable markets, offset to some extent by the consolidation of facilities in Ontario and consequent cost reductions. Pork results were affected by production interruptions during construction at the Fearmans plant and a shortage of hogs in Ontario. However, as the expansion at the plant was completed, results improved in the second half of the year. The Shur- Gain business was affected by reduced feed volumes. Agribusiness earnings were positively impacted by continued strong results in the rendering and international trading businesses.
 Net interest income for the year amounted to $8.1 million, an improvement from the 1991 expense of $7.3 million. This sizable improvement is due to increased cash balances arising from the company's equity issue in 1991, the sale of the Edible Oils business in 1992 and effective cash management during the year, partly offset by acquisitions.
 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
 (In thousands of Canadian dollars, except
 per share amounts - Unaudited))
 Periods ended Quarter Year
 Dec. 31 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Sales $739,544 $738,155 $2,750,512 $3,035,084
 Earnings from
 continuing
 operations 29,482 32,547 105,617 112,264
 Other income 1,019 2,019 7,854 8,227
 Interest income
 (expense) 1,895 2,473 8,088 (7,262)
 Earnings before
 income taxes 32,396 37,039 121,559 113,229
 Income taxes 12,647 15,179 46,270 46,906
 Earnings before
 minority interest 19,749 21,860 75,289 66,323
 Minority interest 1,965 2,461 6,107 6,932
 Net earnings from
 continuing
 operations 17,784 19,399 69,182 59,391
 Discontinued
 operations -- 3,479 3,311 7,837
 Net Earnings $17,784 $22,878 $72,493 $67,228
 Earnings per share
 Net earnings
 from continuing
 operations $0.22 $0.25 $0.86 $0.86
 Net earnings $0.22 $0.29 $0.90 $0.97
 Dividends per share
 declared $0.095 $0.095 $0.38 $0.38
 Weighted average
 number of shares
 (thousands) -- -- 80,832 69,150
 MAPLE LEAF FOODS INC.
 Consolidated Balance Sheets
 In thousands of Canadian dollars-Unaudited)
 As at Dec. 31 1992 1991
 Assets
 Current assets
 Cash and cash equivalents $253,118 $228,973
 Accounts receivable 224,301 249,056
 Inventories 191,909 191,786
 Prepaid expenses 9,239 10,239
 Total 678,567 680,054
 Investments in associated
 companies 58,528 48,729
 Property and equipment 521,832 573,719
 Goodwill 125,051 112,725
 Other assets 35,040 15,926
 Total $1,419,018 $1,431,153
 Liabilities and
 Shareholders' Equity
 Current liabilities
 Accounts payable and
 accrued charges 290,695 362,629
 Income and other
 taxes payable 50,072 26,014
 Current portion of
 long-term debt 2,299 63,713
 Total 343,066 452,356
 Long-term debt 46,089 14,232
 Deferred income taxes 39,825 27,721
 Minority interest 45,410 38,299
 Shareholders' equity
 Share capital and
 contributed surplus 840,392 839,599
 Retained earnings 101,274 59,494
 Unrealized foreign currency
 adjustment 2,962 (548)
 Sub-total 944,628 898,545
 Total $1,419,018 $1,431,153
 MAPLE LEAF FOODS INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Changes in Financial Position
 (In thousands of Canadian dollars - Unaudited)
 Year ended Dec. 31 1992 1991
 Cash provided by (used in)
 Operating activities
 Net earnings from
 continuing operations $69,182 $59,391
 Depreciation and amortization 47,960 53,091
 Minority interest 6,107 6,932
 Deferred income taxes 11,266 18,384
 Undistributed earnings of
 associated companies (4,890) (4,763)
 Changes in non-cash working
 capital (58,598) (49,389)
 Other (2,001) (1,823)
 Total 69,026 81,823
 Financing activities
 Increase in share capital 793 223,085
 Dividends paid (30,713) (32,622)
 Dividends paid to minority
 interest (2,495) (1,646)
 Repayment of long-term debt (64,994) (26,818)
 Increase in long-term
 debt of joint ventures 35,437 --
 Increase in long-term debt
 Shares issued by partly owned
 subsidiaries 611 1,245
 Total (61,361) 163,244
 Investing activities
 Additions to property
 and equipment (48,874) (47,610)
 Disposals of property
 and equipment 12,918 21,110
 Purchase of net assets
 of businesses (48,149) (10,697)
 Net proceeds on disposal of businesses -- 64,065
 Investments in associated and other
 companies (2,258) (2,363)
 Total (86,363) 24,505
 Cash provided by (used in)
 continuing operations (78,698) 269,572
 Cash provided by
 discontinued operations 102,843 18,285
 Cash, net of bank indebtedness
 beginning of year 228,973 (58,884)
 Cash, end of year $253,118 $228,973
 As at Dec. 31 1992 1991
 Cash, net of debt $204,730 $151,028
 -0- 3/9/93
 /CONTACT: L.N. Rose, chief financial officer, 416-926-2023, or A.F. Devlin, senior vice president corporate affairs, 416-926-2047/
 (MLF)


CO: Maple Leaf Foods ST: Ontario IN: FOD SU: ERN

SM -- NY015 -- 4371 03/09/93 08:58 EST
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