TORONTO – Despite input costs and restructuring charges that led to lower fourth-quarter results, earnings for Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. were up 145 percent during 2011.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, the company had earnings of C$87,331,000 ($87,656,403), equal to C$0.59 per share on the common stock, which compared with income of C$35,613,000, or C$0.22 per share, during fiscal 2010. Sales for the year were C$4,893,624,000 ($4,911,444,985), down 1 percent from C$4,968,119,000 during fiscal 2010.

Adjusted operating earnings for the Meat Products group during the year were C$95,987,000 ($96,322,752), up 18 percent from C$81,218,000 during the previous year. Sales for the segment were C$3,039,460,000, down 4 percent from C$3,181,134,000.

"We are very pleased with our results for the year and we remain on track to deliver our earnings and margin growth for 2012 through 2015," said Michael H. McCain, president and chief executive officer. "We realized strong earnings growth for the year in our protein operations, which contributed to a 40 percent rise in our adjusted earnings per share.

"However, we experienced a challenging fourth quarter as a result of unseasonably strong raw material costs which impacted continued margin growth in prepared meats," he added. "We also experienced short term higher operating costs in our bakery business. These factors, combined with lower pork and poultry processing margins from year ago highs, contributed to lower relative performance in the fourth quarter. We are now actively passing through pricing to help mitigate these challenges and we remain committed to executing our value creation initiatives."

Adjusted operating earnings for the Agribusiness group during the year advanced 62 percent to C$81.9 million compared to C$50.5 million during fiscal 2010. Results were driven by strong values for biodiesel and rendered by-products during most of the year.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the company had earnings of C$9,195,000 ($9,227,163), or C$0.06 per share, down 70 percent from C$30,643,000, or C$0.21 per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were C$1,245,328,000 ($1,249,347,320), up 3% from C$1,212,035,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.