Maple Leaf Q2 2012 results show growth

Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
Wednesday, 01 August 2012
By Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Aug. 1, 2012, Toronto, ON - Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012.

  • Adjusted Operating Earnings(1) for the second quarter were $71.9 million compared to $77.5 million last year
  • Net earnings for the second quarter were $32.5 million, compared to $24.6 million in the second quarter last year
  • Adjusted Earnings per Share(2) were $0.28 compared to $0.30 last year

"Our results rallied significantly from a weak first quarter due to improved profitability in both our fresh bakery and prepared meats businesses," said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO. "We've implemented selective price increases, grown our core branded businesses and our value creation initiatives are contributing to margin growth. While we made excellent progress in the quarter, we are heading into challenging commodity markets driven by drought conditions throughout North America that will fuel further food inflation.  Our business fundamentals are strong and we will take action to manage ongoing cost increases."

(1): Adjusted Operating Earnings, a non-IFRS measure, is defined as earnings from operations before restructuring and other related costs and associated gains, other income (expense) and the impact of the change in fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps, unrealized (gains) losses on commodity futures contracts and the change in fair value of biological assets. 

(2): Adjusted Earnings per Share ("Adjusted EPS"), a non-IFRS measure, is defined as basic earnings per share adjusted for the impact of restructuring and other related costs and associated gains, the impact of the change in fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps, hedge ineffectiveness recognized in earnings, unrealized (gains) losses on commodity futures contracts, and the change in fair value of biological assets, net of tax and non-controlling interest.

Financial Overview

Business Segment Review

Following is a summary of sales by business segment:

(Unaudited) Second Quarter Year-to-Date
($ thousands) 2012 2011 2012 2011
Meat Products Group $775,971 $762,212 $1,501,508 $1,480,453
Agribusiness Group 79,543 70,918 144,840 128,211
Protein Group $855,514 $833,130 $1,646,348 $1,608,664
Bakery Products Group 404,736 405,071 774,725 777,479
Sales $1,260,250 $1,238,201 $2,421,073 $2,386,143

The following table summarizes Adjusted Operating Earnings by business segment:

(Unaudited) Second Quarter Year-to-Date
($ thousands) 2012 2011 2012 2011
Meat Products Group $22,229 $21,102 $44,303 $47,749
Agribusiness Group 19,065 27,706 38,156 41,711
Protein Group $41,294 $48,808 $82,459 $89,460
Bakery Products Group 32,150 29,884 35,415 42,071
Non-allocated Costs in Adjusted 
Operating Earnings
(i) 
(1,559) (1,156) (5,470) (3,308)
Adjusted Operating Earnings $71,885 $77,536 $112,404 $128,223
(i) Non-allocated costs comprise expenses not separately identifiable to
business segment groups, and do not form part of the measures used
by the Company when assessing the segments' operating results.  

Protein Group

Sales for the Protein Group, which includes the Company's Meat Products Group and Agribusiness Group, increased 3% to $855.5 million in the second quarter of 2012, from $833.1 million for the prior year period. Adjusted Operating Earnings decreased 15% to $41.3 million compared to $48.8 million for the second quarter last year. Results for the Company's Meat Products Group and Agribusiness Group should be viewed in combination due to the higher number of intercompany transactions and correlated factors within these operations.

Meat Products Group
Includes value-added prepared meats, lunch kits; and fresh pork, poultry and turkey products sold to retail, foodservice, industrial and convenience channels. Includes leading Canadian brands such as Maple Leaf ®, Schneiders ® and many leading sub-brands.

Meat Products Group sales for the second quarter increased 2% to $776.0 million from $762.2 million for the second quarter last year. After adjusting for the impact of a weaker Canadian dollar, which increased the sales value of pork exports, sales increased 1%.  The increase in sales was primarily due price increases implemented earlier in the year and a higher value sales mix in the prepared meats business.

Adjusted Operating Earnings for the second quarter increased 5% to $22.2 million compared to $21.1 million last year, due to higher prepared meats and fresh poultry results, offset by compressed pork processing margins.

Earnings in the prepared meats business benefited from price increases implemented in 2011 and early 2012 to manage rising inflationary costs and a higher margin sales mix due to strong product innovation and sales execution. Also contributing to stronger earnings were benefits from the Company's network transformation initiatives, including the closure of two sub-scale facilities last year and continued simplification of the prepared meats product portfolio.

Earnings increased in fresh poultry operations, benefiting from improvements in industry poultry processor margins. The business also benefited from continued growth in higher value products under the Maple Leaf Prime Chicken brand.

Earnings declined in primary pork processing, reflecting unfavourable market conditions in North America and lower margins on export sales, primarily in the Japanese and Korean markets.

Agribusiness Group
Consists of Canadian hog production, animal by-product recycling operations including bio-diesel manufacturing and distribution.

Sales in the Agribusiness Group increased 12% to $79.5 million for the second quarter compared to $70.9 million last year, reflecting higher toll feed sales.

Adjusted Operating Earnings for the second quarter of 2012 decreased 31% to $19.1 million compared to $27.7 million last year. Hog production earnings declined due to higher feed costs and lower market prices for hogs.  Earnings in the by-products recycling operations were impacted by a combination of higher prices paid for raw materials and lower selling prices following declines in certain commodities during the quarter.

Bakery Products Group
Includes fresh and frozen bakery products, including breads, rolls, bagels, specialty and artisan breads, sweet goods, and fresh pasta and sauces sold to retail, foodservice and convenience channels. It includes national brands such as Dempster's, Tenderflake, Olivieri and New York Bakery Co, and many leading regional brands.

Bakery Products Group sales for the second quarter were $404.7 million, compared to $405.1 million last year. After adjusting for the closure of a bakery and related exit of unprofitable categories in the U.K. and currency translation on sales in the U.S. and U.K., sales increased 1%. The sales increase was mainly due to stronger volumes and selling prices in the North American frozen bakery operations. Volumes in the fresh bakery business were comparable to last year.

Adjusted Operating Earnings for the second quarter of 2012 increased 8% to $32.2 million compared to $29.9 million last year. While results in the fresh bakery business were consistent with last year, there was a significant improvement from the first quarter as a result of increased promotional and marketing activities and warm summer weather. However, an underlying decline in consumer demand continues to impact results. Included in results are $0.8 million in duplicative overhead costs related to the commissioning of a new fresh bakery in Hamilton, Ontario and which are expected to continue until early 2013. The Company expects the new bakery to be accretive to operating earnings commencing in 2013, with the closure of the third Toronto bakery and as volumes consolidate into the new Hamilton facility. Results from the fresh pasta business declined due to higher inflationary and operational costs, and increased advertising and promotional spending.

Frozen bakery earnings continued to improve due to higher pricing and volumes in the North American business, an improved sales mix in the U.K., and lower overhead costs resulting from the closure of the Walsall, U.K. bakery in the first quarter of 2012. These benefits were partially offset by higher inflationary costs in the business.

Margin Targets

The Company previously disclosed a 2012 Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization ("EBITDA") margin target of 9.5%.  As a result of short-term weakness in primary pork industry margins and a challenging first quarter performance in the bakery business, the Company now expects EBITDA margin to be up to one percent lower than previously estimated.  EBITDA margin in the bakery business is expected to average 11.5% for the last three quarters of the year, however lower first quarter performance may reduce the previously disclosed full year EBITDA margin of 11.5% by up to 1.5%.  The protein business is expected to achieve a run rate of 8.5% by the end of the year however the full year margin may be up to 0.5% lower than the previously disclosed 2012 target of 8.5% primarily due to compressed primary pork processing margins in 2012.  The Company's 2015 EBITDA margin targets of 12.5% remain unchanged.

Capital Expenditure Estimate

The Company currently estimates its capital expenditures for the full year of 2012 will be approximately $350 million and this is a revision from the previously disclosed estimate of $435 million. It reflects lower base business capital spend to date and approximately $30 million timing differences in strategic capital spend. The timing differences related to strategic capital do not reflect significant changes in the estimates of construction timing.

Other Matters

On July 31, 2012, Maple Leaf Foods declared a dividend of $0.04 per share payable September 28, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 7, 2012. Unless indicated otherwise by the Company in writing on or before the time the dividend is paid, the dividend will be considered an Eligible Dividend for the purposes of the "Enhanced Dividend Tax Credit System".

An investor presentation related to the Company's second quarter financial results is available at www.mapleleaffoods.com and can be found under Investor Relations on the Quarterly Results page. A conference call will be held at 2:30 p.m. EDT on August 1, 2012 to review Maple Leaf Foods' second quarter financial results. To participate in the call, please dial 416-340-8018 or 866-223-7781. For those unable to participate, playback will be made available an hour after the event at 905-694-9451 / 800-408-3053 (Passcode 9670637).

A webcast presentation of the second quarter financial results will also be available at http://www.media-server.com/m/p/ckjwbc92

The Company's full financial statements and related Management's Discussion and Analysis are available for download on the Company's website.

Reconciliation of Non-IFRS Financial Measures

The Company uses the following non-IFRS measures: Adjusted Operating Earnings and Adjusted EPS.  Management believes that these non-IFRS measures provide useful information to both Management and investors in measuring the financial performance of the Company for the reasons outlined below.  These measures do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and therefore they may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other publicly traded companies and should not be construed as an alternative to other financial measures determined in accordance with IFRS.

Adjusted Operating Earnings

The following tables reconcile earnings from operations before restructuring and other related costs and associated gains, other income (expense) and the impact of the change in fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps, unrealized (gains) losses on commodity futures contracts and the change in fair value of biological assets to net earnings as reported under IFRS in the unaudited earnings for the three and six months ended, as indicated below.  Management believes that this is the most appropriate basis on which to evaluate operating results, as restructuring and other related costs, other income (expense) and the change in fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps, unrealized (gains) losses on commodity futures contracts and the change in fair value of biological assets are not representative of operational results during the period.

(Unaudited) Three months ended June 30, 2012
($ thousands) Meat
Products
Group
Agribusiness
Group
Bakery
Products
Group
Unallocated
costs
Consolidated
Net earnings $32,526
Income taxes 12,922
Earnings from operations before income taxes $45,448
Interest expense 18,413
Change in the fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps 220
Other (income) expense (2,259) (433) (1,349) 624 (3,417)
Restructuring and other related costs 8,571 - 1,205 - 9,776
Earnings from Operations 22,229 19,065 32,150 (3,004) 70,440
Decrease in fair value of biological assets - - - 3,233 3,233
Unrealized gains on commodity futures contracts - - - (1,788) (1,788)
Adjusted Operating Earnings $22,229 $19,065 $32,150 $(1,559) $71,885
(Unaudited) Three months ended June 30, 2011
($ thousands) Meat
Products
Group
Agribusiness
Group
Bakery
Products
Group
Unallocated
costs
Consolidated
Net earnings $24,582
Income taxes 10,441
Earnings from operations before income taxes 35,023
Interest expense 17,074
Change in the fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps 5,623
Other (income) expense (25) 26 - 76 77
Restructuring and other related costs 4,048 - 12,547 - 16,595
Earnings from Operations 21,102 27,706 29,884 (4,300) 74,392
Decrease in fair value of biological assets - - - 9,828 9,828
Unrealized gains on commodity futures contracts - - - (6,684) (6,684)
Adjusted Operating Earnings $21,102 $27,706 $29,884 $(1,156) $77,536
(Unaudited) Six months ended June 30, 2012
($ thousands) Meat
Products
Group
Agribusiness
Group
Bakery
Products
Group
Unallocated
costs
Consolidated
Net earnings $33,289
Income taxes 15,002
Earnings from operations before income taxes 48,291
Interest expense 36,056
Change in the fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps (4,933)
Other (income) expense (2,167) (523) (1,371) 760 (3,301)
Restructuring and other related costs 23,043 - 7,089 - 30,132
Earnings from Operations 44,303 38,156 35,415 (11,629) 106,245
Decrease in fair value of biological assets - - - 1,101 1,101
Unrealized losses on commodity futures contracts - - - 5,058 5,058
Adjusted Operating Earnings $44,303 $38,156 $35,415 $(5,470) $112,404
(Unaudited) Six months ended June 30, 2011
($ thousands) Meat
Products
Group
Agribusiness
Group
Bakery
Products
Group
Unallocated
costs
Consolidated
Net earnings $35,129
Income taxes 12,867
Earnings from operations before income taxes 47,996
Interest expense 35,025
Change in the fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps 958
Other (income) expense (29) (63) (78) 92 (78)
Restructuring and other related costs 9,330 - 32,597 793 42,720
Earnings from Operations 47,749 41,711 42,071 (4,910) 126,621
Decrease in fair value of biological assets - - - 4,321 4,321
Unrealized gains on commodity futures contracts - - - (2,719) (2,719)
Adjusted Operating Earnings $47,749 $41,711 $42,071 $(3,308) $128,223

Adjusted Earnings per Share

The following table reconciles Adjusted Earnings per Share to basic earnings per share as reported under IFRS as indicated below.  Management believes this is the most appropriate basis on which to evaluate financial results as restructuring and other related costs and associated gains, the changes in the fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps, hedge ineffectiveness recognized in earnings, unrealized (gains) losses on commodity futures contracts and the change in fair value of biological assets net of tax and non-controlling interests are not representative of operational results.

(Unaudited) Three months
ended June 30,
Six months
ended June 30,
($ per share) 2012 2011 2012 2011
Basic earnings per share $0.21 $0.17 $0.22 $0.24
Restructuring and other related costs(i) 0.06 0.08 0.16 0.21
Change in the fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps(ii) 0.00 0.03 (0.03) 0.00
Change in the fair value of unrealized (gains) losses on commodity futures contracts(ii) (0.01) (0.03) 0.03 (0.01)
Change in the fair value of biological assets (ii) 0.02 0.05 0.01 0.02
Adjusted Earnings per Share (iii) $0.28 $0.30 $0.39 $0.47
(i)      Includes per share impact of restructuring and other related costs, net of tax and non-controlling interest.
(ii)      Includes per share impact of the change in fair value of non-designated interest rate swaps, hedge ineffectiveness
recognized in earnings, unrealized (gains) losses on commodity futures contracts and the change in fair value of
biological assets, net of tax.
(iii)      May not add due to rounding.

About Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. ("Maple Leaf" or the "Company") is a leading Canadian value-added meat, meals and bakery company committed to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 19,500 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and Asia. For mroe information, visit www.mapleleaffoods.com.

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