MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Acquisitions, a value-added product portfolio and continued growth in plant-based protein helped Maple Leaf Foods Inc. deliver 12.5 percent sales increase for its second quarter.

Sales for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 were C$1,022.7 million compared with C$909.2 million reported in the second quarter of 2018.

Excluding acquisitions, sales grew 3.5 percent driven by “favorable mix due to food renovation supporting major brand strategies, fresh market values, and pricing actions taken in 2018 to mitigate inflationary pressures,” according to the company. Continued expansion of sustainable meats and plant-based protein also contributed to growth in sales, the company said.

Sales for the first six months increased 11.8 percent to $1,929.8 million. Excluding acquisitions, sales grew 2.5 percent.

"We finished the quarter with strong top line growth and expanded our adjusted EBITDA margin," said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO. "Our meat protein business delivered excellent profit growth even with difficult market conditions, and we have materially stepped up our game as a leader in the plant-based protein market, positioning us to win in this high-growth business.”

Excluding items, adjusted operating earnings were C$65.2 million, or C$.33 adjusted earnings per share, compared with C$57.8 million, or C$.34 adjusted earnings per share in the year-ago quarter.

McCain continued his statement: “Combined with our growth capital investments, we are pursuing compelling strategies to deliver outstanding shareholder return. Our vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth will redefine Maple Leaf in the next decade."

The company intends to invest $460 million in capital expenditures, including approximately $200 million related to the construction of the new value-added poultry facility in London, Ontario, and the new plant-based protein facility in Shelbyville, Indiana. This includes continuing construction of its London poultry facility and advancing its Shelbyville plant-based protein facility, the company said.

In addition, Maple Leaf plans to pursue aggressive new growth goals focused on expanding sales in the refrigerated plant-based protein market under its Lightlife and Field Roast Grain Meat Co. brands. According to the company, Maple Leaf is “targeting 2020 sales to exceed $280 million with an opportunity of greater than $3 billion in sales on a 10-year horizon, based on the plant-based protein market's growth potential and the Company's anticipated share of the market.”