updated 5/11/2011 4:46:07 PM ET 2011-05-11T20:46:07

TORONTO, May 11, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or "the Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, today announced financial results for the quarter ended April 2, 2011. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.

The Company realized revenues of $260.9 million in the first quarter of 2011 versus revenues of $216.7 million in the first quarter of 2010, a year over year increase of 20.4%. Revenues increased 9.7% excluding the impact of the acquisitions completed late in 2010.

For the first quarter of 2011, the Company realized operating income1 of $11.0 million or 4.2% of revenues, an increase of approximately 14.6%, versus operating income1 in the first quarter of 2010 of $9.6 million or 4.4% of revenues. The increase in operating income was driven by increases in the Grains and Foods Group, International Foods Group and Opta Minerals Inc. combined with reduced corporate spending. Excluding the year over year impact of the foreign exchange loss (gain), operating earnings increased 31.3%.

For the first quarter of 2011, the Company reported earnings per diluted common share from continuing operations of $0.08 or $5.1 million, as compared to $0.06 or $4.2 million for the first quarter of 2010. The Company realized EBITDA1 in first quarter of 2011 of $15.9 million as compared to $14.0 million in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of approximately 13.7%.

At April 2, 2011, the Company's balance sheet reflects a current working capital ratio of 1.39 to 1.00, long-term debt to equity ratio of 0.22 to 1.00 and total debt to equity ratio of 0.62 to 1.00. During the first quarter of 2011, the Company used cash from continuing operating activities of $33.9 million as compared to $13.6 million in the first quarter of 2010, reflecting the impact of increased commodity volumes and costs and increased inventory and accounts receivable balances related to growth in the business. At April 2, 2011, the Company has total assets of $657.4 million and a net book value of $4.56 per outstanding share. At quarter-end, the Company was in compliance with its bank financial covenants.

Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta, commented, "We are pleased with our first quarter 2011 results which represent record first quarter net earnings for our Company. Operating income1 has improved in spite of rising commodity prices. We continue to streamline our portfolio and over the last twelve months have divested of three non-core operations, most recently the Mexican Frozen Fruit Assets, while over the same period acquiring two core operations. We remain focused on growing our business in fast growing healthy foods categories while at the same time improving operating margins and returns on assets employed. We believe we are well positioned to continue our profitable growth in the future."

The Company plans to host a conference call at 10:00 AM Eastern Time on Thursday, May 12, 2011 to discuss the first quarter results and recent corporate developments. The conference call can be accessed via a link at the Company's website at www.sunopta.com . Additionally, the call may be accessed with the toll free dial-in number 1-877-312-9198 or 631-291-4622. A replay number can also be accessed between May 12th and 19th with the toll free dial-in number 1–800-642-1687 or 706-645-9291 followed by pass code: 62090916#.

1See discussion of non-GAAP measures

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically significant vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company has two non-core holdings, a 66.4% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials, and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.

The SunOpta Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3958

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our continued efforts to streamline our portfolio, our focus on growing our business and improving operating margins and returns on assets employed and our positioning to continue profitable growth in the future. The terms and phrases "continue", "improving", "remain focused", "positioned", and other similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on information available to us on the date of this release and are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors the Company believes are appropriate in the circumstances including, but not limited to, general economic conditions, consumer interest in health and wellness, product pricing levels, current customer demand, competitive intensity, cost rationalization and product development initiatives. Whether actual timing and results will agree with expectations and predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, global economic conditions, consumer spending patterns and changes in market trends, decreases in customer demand, potential failure of product development, working capital management and continuous improvement initiatives, availability and pricing of raw materials and supplies, and other risks described from time to time under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (available at www.sec.gov ). Consequently all forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized.

SunOpta Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
For the quarters ended April 2, 2011 and April 3, 2010
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)
       
  April 2, 2011 April 3, 2010 Change
       
Revenues $260,923 $216,749 20.4%
       
Cost of goods sold  225,368 181,273 24.3%
       
Gross profit 35,555 35,476 0.2%
       
Selling, general and administrative expenses 23,007 25,796 (10.8%)
Intangible asset amortization 1,385 1,175 17.9%
Other expense, net 362 315 14.9%
Foreign exchange loss (gain) 135 (1,117) (112.1%)
       
Earnings from continuing operations      
before the following 10,666 9,307 14.6%
       
Interest expense, net 1,984 3,022 (34.3%)
       
Earnings from continuing operations      
before income taxes 8,682 6,285 38.1%
       
Provision for income taxes 3,009 2,076 44.9%
       
Earnings from continuing operations 5,673 4,209 34.8%
       
Earnings from discontinued operations,      
net of taxes --  432 n/m
       
Earnings  5,673 4,641 22.2%
       
Earnings attributable to non-controlling      
interests 592 28 n/m
       
Earnings attributable to SunOpta Inc. $5,081 $4,613 10.1%
       
       
Earnings per share – basic       
-from continuing operations $0.08 $0.06  
-from discontinued operations  -- 0.01  
  $0.08 $0.07  
       
Earnings per share – diluted       
-from continuing operations $0.08 $0.06  
-from discontinued operations  -- 0.01  
  $0.08 $0.07  
SunOpta Inc.
Consolidated Balance Sheets
As at April 2, 2011 and January 1, 2011
Unaudited
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars, except per share amounts)
     
  April 2, 2011 January 1, 2011
     
Assets     
     
Current assets     
Cash and cash equivalents   $5,720  $2,643 
Accounts receivable  112,038  98,875 
Inventories   227,462  200,278 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets   32,837  30,041 
Deferred income taxes   740  870 
  378,797  332,707 
     
Investments   33,345   33,345 
Property, plant and equipment   120,063   118,924 
Goodwill  49,078   48,558 
Intangible assets   60,321   60,200 
Deferred income taxes   11,796   11,889 
Other assets  2,841   2,930 
Non-current assets held for sale  1,131  1,131 
     
   $657,372  $609,684 
     
Liabilities     
     
Current liabilities     
Bank indebtedness  $120,643  $75,910 
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities  118,528 124,031 
Customer and other deposits   3,627  2,858 
Income taxes payable   746  973 
Other current liabilities   6,068  7,674 
Current portion of long-term debt   22,892  22,247 
Current portion of long-term liabilities   292  571 
  272,796  234,264 
     
Long-term debt   42,088   42,735 
Long-term liabilities   6,419   6,642 
Deferred income taxes   22,351   20,808 
   343,654  304,449 
     
     
Equity     
SunOpta Inc. shareholders' equity     
Capital Stock   180,881  180,661 
65,539,104 common shares (January 1, 2011 - 65,500,091)     
Additional paid in capital   12,758  12,336 
Retained earnings   100,293  95,212 
Accumulated other comprehensive income   4,872  2,833 
   298,804   291,042 
Non-controlling interest   14,914  14,193 
Total equity   313,718   305,235 
     
   $657,372   $609,684 
     
SunOpta Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flow
For the quarters ended April 2, 2011 and April 3, 2010
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars)
(Unaudited)
     
  Quarter ended

April 2, 2011
Quarter ended

April 3, 2010
     
Cash provided by (used in)    
     
Operating activities    
Earnings   $5,673   $4,641 
Earnings from discontinued operations   --   432 
Earnings from continuing operations   5,673   4,209 
     
Items not affecting cash     
Amortization   4,833   4,328 
Unrealized loss (gain) on foreign exchange   723  (1,092)
Deferred income taxes   1,766   1,166 
Unrealized (gain) loss on derivative instruments  (3,685)  1,443 
Other   115  (284)
Changes in non-cash working capital  (43,328) (23,354)
Net cash flows from operations - continuing operations  (33,903) (13,584)
Net cash flows from operations - discontinued operations   --  (751)
  (33,903) (14,335)
Investing activities    
Purchases of property, plant and equipment, net  (3,909) (5,951)
Payment of deferred purchase consideration   --  (500)
Purchases of patents, trademarks and other intangible assets  (81) (30)
Other   --   296 
Cash from investing activities - continuing operations  (3,990) (6,185)
Cash from investing activities - discontinued operations   --  (373)
  (3,990) (6,558)
Financing activities    
Increase in line of credit facilities   42,551   23,386 
Borrowings under long-term debt   37   -- 
Proceeds from the issuance of common shares   213   207 
Repayment of long-term debt  (2,004) (1,102)
Financing costs  (25)  -- 
Other   28  (188)
Cash from financing activities - continuing operations   40,800   22,303 
Cash from financing activities - discontinued operations   --   -- 
   40,800   22,303 
     
Foreign exchange gain on cash held in a foreign currency   170   207 
     
     
Increase in cash and cash equivalents during the period   3,077   1,617 
     
Discontinued operations cash activity included above:     
Add: Balance included at beginning of period   --   18,971 
Less: Balance included at end of period   --  (20,135)
     
Cash and cash equivalents - beginning of the period   2,643   1,752 
     
Cash and cash equivalents - end of the period   $5,720   $2,205 
     
SunOpta Inc.    
Segmented Information    
For the quarters ended April 2, 2011 and April 3, 2010    
(Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars)    
(Unaudited)    
             
             
        Quarter ended

April 2, 2011
   
             
  SunOpta Foods

$
Opta Minerals

$
Corporate Services

$
Consolidated

$
   
Total revenues from external customers 239,317 21,606 -- 260,923    
Segment Operating Income 10,463 2,451 (1,886) 11,028    
             
The SunOpta Foods has the following segmented reporting:  
             
             
          Quarter ended

April 2, 2011
 
             
  Grains and

Foods

$


Ingredients

$


Fruit

$
International

Foods

$
SunOpta

Foods

$
 
Total revenues from external customers 115,601 15,751 37,010 70,955 239,317  
Segment Operating Income 5,707 1,895 388 2,473 10,463  
             
             
         Quarter ended

April 3, 2010
   
 

SunOpta Foods

$


Opta Minerals

$
Corporate

Services

$


Consolidated

$
   
Total revenues from external customers 198,818 17,931  -- 216,749    
Segment Operating Income 11,391 1,713 (3,482) 9,622    
             
The SunOpta Foods has the following segmented reporting:  
             
             
          Quarter ended

April 3, 2010
 
  Grains and

Foods

$


Ingredients

$


Fruit

$
International

Foods

$
SunOpta

Foods

$
 
Total revenues from external customers 78,845 18,150 40,340 61,483 198,818  
Segment Operating Income 5,016 4,212 1,864 299 11,391  
             
(Segment Operating Income is defined as "Earnings from continuing operations before the following" excluding the impact of "other expense, net")  

1Non-GAAP Measures

In addition to reporting financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), the Company provides information regarding Operating Income and Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") as additional information about its operating results, which are not measures in accordance with GAAP. The Company believes that these non-GAAP measures assist investors in comparing performance across reporting periods on a consistent basis by excluding items that are not indicative of the Company's core operating performance. The non-GAAP measures of operating income and EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for performance measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. 

The Company defines Operating Income as "Earnings from continuing operations before the following" excluding the impact of "Other expense, net"; and EBITDA as Operating Income plus depreciation and amortization. The following is a tabular presentation of Operating income and EBITDA, including a reconciliation to GAAP earnings, which the Company believes to be the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.

     
     
  Quarter ended

April 2, 2011
Quarter ended

April 3, 2010
     
Earnings from continuing operations before the following $10,666  $9,307
Other expense, net 362  315
Operating Income 11,028  9,622
Depreciation and amortization 4,833 4,328
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and

amortization (EBITDA)
$15,861 $13,950
CONTACT: SunOpta Inc.
         Steve Bromley, President & CEO
         Eric Davis, Vice President & CFO
         Tony Tavares, Vice President & COO
         Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer
         Tel: 905-455-2528, ext 103
         susan.wiekenkamp@sunopta.com
         Website:  www.sunopta.com

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