Maple Leaf

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Higher prices for prepared meat products and reduced operating costs lifted Maple Leaf Foods’ earnings during the second quarter.

For the three months ended June 30, the company reported net income of C$31.4 million ($23.9 million), or 23 Canadian cents per share, compared with a loss of C$7.5 million, or 5 Canadian cents per share in the year-ago period.

Sales for the quarter advanced to C$854.6 million ($648.7 million) compared with C$21.8 million in the second quarter of 2015.

“The strategic foundation we have built delivered a second consecutive quarter of double-digit EBITDA margin and product innovation at a level unprecedented in our history,” Michael McCain, president and CEO, said in a statement.  “Our performance was driven by strong commercial results across the business and continued efficiency gains in our plant network.  Our team is focused on pursuing profitable growth, market expansion and further cost efficiencies.”

On a segment basis, sales in the company’s Meat Products Group advanced 4.1 percent to C$851.0 million, or 2.9 percent including foreign exchange impact. Price increases for Maple Leaf prepared meats more than offset a decline volume, the company said. Additionally, the company’s focus on its value-added pork business resulted in improved selling prices and volume. Other tailwinds for the segment included favorable exchange rates and higher sales of fresh poultry.

In the Agribusiness Group, which supplies livestock to the Meat Products Group, adjusted operating earnings lost C$2.4 million compared with earnings of C$4.1 million a year ago when the segment benefited from gains in its risk management program.

For the first six months of 2016, net earnings were C$73.7 million, or 55 Canadian cents per share, compared with a loss of C$10.4 million, or 7 Canadian cents per share in the first six months of 2015.

Sales for the first six months ended June 30 were C$1.65 billion compared with C$1.6 billion last year.