MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO – During its third quarter earnings statement, Maple Leaf Foods Inc. announced that the company is reassessing plant-based protein investments made in the last few years.

"We are seeing a marked slowdown in the plant-based protein category performance which may suggest systemic change in the extremely high growth rates expected by the industry," said Michael H. McCain, president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Foods. "While our overall focus to create long-term value for all stakeholders remains unchanged, and investments to date have been well calculated, well executed and have delivered underlying value, we have always been prepared to re-examine that investment thesis if circumstances change.”

In the earnings report, Maple Leaf also stated net earnings for the third quarter were C$44.5 million compared to C$66.0 million in 2020.

The Plant Protein Group reported a 6.6% sales decline for the quarter at $48 million compared to $51.4 million during the same period last year. 

Adjusted operating earnings were C$68 million, compared to C$36.9 million in 2020, an 84.3% increase.

Sales numbers were still strong during the third quarter standing at C$1.19 billion, up 12.4% from C$1.06 billion last year during the same period. The Meat Protein Group reported sales of C$1.15 billion for the quarter compared to $1.01 billion during the same period of 2020, a 13.4% increase. 

Maple Leaf also reported Meat Protein revenue that grew by 13% and Adjusted EBITDA increase by 21.8% to $149.3 million. 

"Our meat protein business delivered exceptional results in the third quarter," McCain said. “I am grateful for the tireless commitment of our teams who are consistently delivering, and confident in achieving our near-term targets.”

Nine months into 2021, net earnings for the company were reported at C$100.9 million compared to C$87.9 million from 2020, a 14.8% increase. 

Maple Leaf reported capital expenditures of $152.9 million, with a portion of it going toward the construction of the company’s poultry processing plant being built in London, Ontario. Other expenditures include the expansion of the Bacon Centre of Excellence in Winnipeg which was announced in October.