Alliance Grain Traders Inc. announces year end/Q4 2009 results and dividend

SYMBOL: TSX: AGT

REGINA, March 22 /CNW/ - Alliance Grain Traders Inc. (TSX: AGT) ("AGTI") is pleased to announce its financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009.

Highlights for 2009 include:

    
    -   EBITDA* of $46.8 million for 2009, representing 40% growth compared
        to $33.5 million in 2008.
    -   Net income of $29.9 million for 2009 representing a 35% increase
        compared to $22.2 million in 2008. This translated into $2.80 per
        common share/unit (or unit equivalent) or $2.74 on a diluted basis
        for 2009 compared to $3.10 per unit (or unit equivalent) or $2.91 on
        a diluted basis for 2008.
    -   Sales of $387.9 million for 2009, up 18% compared to sales of
        $328.7 million for 2008.
    -   Completion of acquisitions including the transformational acquisition
        of the Arbel Group and strategic "tuck-in" acquisitions of Finora and
        Parent Seed.
    -   Converted the trust structure to a dividend paying corporation and
        graduated to the TSX.
    

Highlights for the three months ended December 31, 2009 include:

    
    -   EBITDA* grew 170% to $22.4 million compared to $8.3 million for the
        third quarter of 2009, and 97% higher than the $11.4 million for the
        fourth quarter of 2008.
    -   Net income was higher by 235% to $15.2 million ($0.89 per common
        share/unit or unit equivalent or $0.87 on a diluted basis) compared
        to $4.5 million ($0.47 per common share/unit or unit equivalent or
        $0.46 on a diluted basis) for the third quarter of 2009, and an 87%
        increase from $8.1 million ($0.95 per unit or unit equivalent or
        $0.89 on a diluted basis) for the fourth quarter of 2008.
    -   Sales increased by 111% to $154.8 million compared to sales of
        $73.3 million for the third quarter of 2009, and were 53% higher than
        the $100.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.
    

The growth in 2009 from 2008 is attributed to the company's global growth strategy, continued strong customer demand and the accretive acquisition of the Arbel Group completed during the year.

"We had a great year. Our acquisition and growth strategy continues to deliver positive results. The addition of new products and product lines such as beans, pasta and rice, complement our current strengths in other pulse crops globally," said Murad Al-Katib, President and CEO of AGTI. "We have twenty processing facility locations globally, efficiency in value-added processing, freight advantages and diversified markets and origins. These factors allow us to focus on consistent earnings while smoothing the seasonality of our business."

"We are pleased with the progress of integration of our recent acquisitions," added Huseyin Arslan, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for AGTI. "Our strategy is staple food products and creating strong market opportunities for the products we process. By concentrating on our core strengths, we expect to continue to grow the business and utilize our assets in a manner that executes our strategy while continuing to create value for our shareholders."

AGTI also announced its cash dividend for the quarter ending March 31, 2010 of $0.135 per common share. The dividend will be payable on April 6, 2010 to shareholders of record on March 31, 2010. This dividend is an eligible dividend for Canadian income tax purposes. AGTI's current annualized cash dividend rate is approximately $0.54 per common share.

The financial statements and management discussion and analysis and notes for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009 are available under the Company's profile on www.sedar.com and have been posted on the Company's web site at www.alliancegrain.com. All amounts are reported in Canadian dollars.

Alliance Grain Traders invites you to join our fourth quarter and year end 2009 conference call on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. To join the conference, please dial 1-800-319-4610 (Canada & USA) or +1-604-638-5340 (Outside Canada & USA).

A recording of the call will be available on our website at alliancegrain.com on March 25, 2010. A telephone replay will also be available until midnight Eastern time, Thursday, April 8, 2010. To access the replay, please call 1-800-319-6413 (from Canada & USA, Toll Free) or +1-604-638-9010 (from outside Canada & USA). When prompted, enter the code 4537, followed by the number sign (#).

Alliance Grain Traders Inc. Profile

Alliance Grain Traders Inc. ("AGTI") is a pulse processor and exporter engaged in the business of value-added processing (cleaning, splitting, sorting and bagging) of pulses and specialty crops, for export and domestic markets. Through its processing facilities located in some of the best pulse growing regions in Canada, the U.S., Turkey and Australia, AGTI handles a full range of pulses and specialty crops including lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans and canary seed. Through its subsidiary in Turkey, the Arbel Group, AGTI also produces Arbella Pasta, rice, and milled wheat products, such as bulgur and semolina.

Cautionary Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable by AGTI at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of AGTI (including its operating subsidiaries) to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the actual results of harvests, fluctuations in the price of lentils and other crops, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents or labour disputes, risks relating to the integration of acquisitions or to international operations, as well as those factors referred to in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the prospectus of AGTI's predecessor, Alliance Grain Traders Income Fund, dated July 16, 2009 which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and which should be reviewed in conjunction with this document. Although AGTI has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. AGTI expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

EBITDA*, Earnings Before Interest, Income Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, is a financial measure used by many investors to compare companies on the basis of operating results, asset value and the ability to incur and service debt. EBITDA* is used because AGTI's net income alone does not give an accurate picture of its' cash-generating potential. Management believes that EBITDA* is an important measure in evaluating performance and in determining whether to invest in AGTI. However, EBITDA* is not a recognized earnings measure under GAAP and does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP. It is not intended to represent cash flow or results of operations in accordance with GAAP. Therefore, EBITDA* may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Investors are cautioned that EBITDA* should not be construed as an alternative to net income or loss determined in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of AGTI's performance or to cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities of liquidity and cash flows. For a reconciliation of net income determined in accordance with GAAP to EBITDA*, see the table on page 24 of management's discussion and analysis for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2009 available under AGTI's profile on www.sedar.com

Neither the TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.

For further information: For further information: Investor Relations, Omer Al-Katib, (306) 244-1318, ir@alliancegrain.com


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