Lassonde Industries Inc. announces its Q1 2010 results

ROUGEMONT, QC, May 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Lassonde Industries Inc. (TSX symbol: LAS.A) today announced that the Company's net sales increased by 4.7% during the first quarter of 2010 compared to the first quarter of the previous fiscal year. The Company's net earnings were affected by higher slotting fees resulting from the launch of several new products. "Given this context, we are satisfied with the $5.7 million in net earnings for the first quarter of 2010," said Mr. Pierre-Paul Lassonde, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lassonde Industries Inc.

    
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    Financial highlights                            First quarters ended
    (in thousands of dollars except basic
     and diluted earnings per share)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              April 3, 2010   March 28, 2009
                                                 (unaudited)      (unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net sales                                      $125,713         $120,099
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    Operating income                                  9,537            9,182
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings before income taxes                      8,091            8,459
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings                                      5,705            5,837
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Basic and diluted earnings per share              $0.87            $0.88
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: These are financial highlights only. Management's Discussion and
    Analysis, the unaudited consolidated financial statements of Lassonde
    Industries Inc. and the notes thereto for the quarter ended April 3, 2010
    will be available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com and on the
    website of Lassonde Industries Inc.


    Financial results
    -----------------
    

The Company's net sales for the first quarter of 2010 totalled $125.7 million, up $5.6 million (4.7%) over $120.1 million in net sales posted for the first quarter of 2009. The year-over-year increase was due to the positive impact of higher deliveries to clients in the retail segment, partly offset by higher trade spending and unfavourable exchange rates that affected sales denominated in U.S. dollars. Sales in the food services segment remained unchanged compared to the first quarter of the prior year.

The Company's operating income grew from $9.2 million in the first quarter of 2009 to $9.5 million in the first quarter of 2010, up $0.3 million. The increase in operating income was attributable to the higher sales and to a decline in raw material costs. The beneficial impact of these factors was partly offset by the following: (i) higher exchange rates affecting foreign exchange hedges on purchases denominated in U.S. dollars; (ii) increased slotting fees resulting from the launch of several new products; and (iii) a charge resulting from a reorganization of certain activities.

Financial expenses grew from $0.7 million in the first quarter of 2009 to $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2010. The $0.7 million increase is attributable to an additional interest expense of $0.4 million, arising from higher long-term debt, and a foreign exchange loss of $0.2 million in the first quarter of 2010 compared to a $0.1 million foreign exchange gain in the first quarter of 2009.

Earnings before income taxes went from $8.5 million at the end of the first quarter of 2009 to $8.1 million for the first quarter of 2010, down $0.4 million (4.4%).

An income tax expense at an effective rate of 29.5% brought net earnings to $5.7 million for the first three months of 2010, compared to an effective rate of 31.0% that brought net earnings to $5.8 million in the same period of 2009. These results represent $0.87 in basic and diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2010 compared to $0.88 for the same period of 2009.

    
    Outlook
    -------
    

The Company intends to launch innovative new products to fuel growth and take advantage of existing opportunities.

Lassonde Industries Inc. believes that it is well positioned to benefit from an economic recovery. The Company therefore plans to maintain its current business model and management approach for the coming quarters of 2010. Barring any major external factors or events, the Company remains confident about its ability to maintain the 2010 net sales growth at a level similar to that experienced in fiscal 2009.

    
    About Lassonde Industries Inc.
    ------------------------------
    

Lassonde Industries Inc. develops, manufactures and markets an innovative and distinctive line of fruit and vegetable juices and drinks as well as certain specialty food products such as fondue broths and fondue sauces, beans in sauce, soups, sauces and gravies, canned corn-on-the-cob, bruschetta toppings, tapenades, pestos and pasta sauces. Lassonde Industries Inc. imports selected wines from several countries of origin for packaging and marketing purposes. It also imports and markets olive oil. These products are marketed in various packagings and under several trademarks. Approximately 1,300 employees are currently employed by Lassonde Industries Inc. and contribute to its growth.

SEDAR registration number: 00002099

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on certain assumptions. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. Additional factors are discussed in materials filed from time to time with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada. Lassonde Industries Inc. disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

%SEDAR: 00002099EF

SOURCE Lassonde Industries Inc.

For further information: For further information: Guy Blanchette, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Lassonde Industries Inc., (450) 469-4926, extension 782


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