Lassonde Industries Inc. announces its Q1 2016 results

ROUGEMONT, QC, May 13, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Lassonde Industries Inc. (TSX: LAS.A) ("Lassonde") posted sales of $386.5 million in the first quarter of 2016, a $58.8 million increase year over year. Profit attributable to the Company's shareholders for this period totalled $13.0 million, up $5.2 million from the first quarter of 2015.

 



Financial highlights

(in thousands of dollars)

First quarters

ended


April 2,

2016


March 28,

2015

Sales

$

386,475


$

327,660

Operating profit


27,430



16,961

Profit before income taxes


20,872



11,577

Profit attributable to the Company's shareholders


12,955



7,764

Basic and diluted earnings per share (in $)

$

1.85


$

1.11

 

Note: These are financial highlights only. Management's Discussion and Analysis, the unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and notes thereto for the quarter ended April 2, 2016 will be available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com and on the website of Lassonde Industries Inc.

"We are quite satisfied with our results for the first quarter of 2016. It's important to mention, however, that our 2016 first-quarter sales benefited from five more delivery days than in the first quarter of 2015. We estimate that approximately half of our sales increase was due to these additional delivery days. On a comparable basis, sales growth was still slightly higher than our expectations," said Pierre-Paul Lassonde, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lassonde Industries Inc.

Financial results

The Company's sales totalled $386.5 million in the first quarter of 2016, up $58.8 million from $327.7 million in sales in the same period of 2015. Part of this increase stems from the fact that, in the first quarter of 2016, there were five more delivery days than in the first quarter of 2015, resulting in an estimated $27.0 million increase in sales. Excluding this circumstance, to obtain a comparable basis, the remaining increase was mainly due to a favourable foreign exchange impact and an increase in sales of private label products, partly offset by a decrease in the sales volume of national brands.

The Company's operating profit for the first quarter of 2016 totalled $27.4 million, up $10.4 million from operating profit of $17.0 million in the same quarter last year. This increase was mainly due to the favourable impact on profit of the marginal contribution from additional sales and to a favourable impact of foreign exchange movements on the conversion into Canadian dollars of the financial results of the U.S. entities. The improved profitability came essentially from the U.S. entities, as the favourable impact of additional sales was largely offset in Canada by the unfavourable impact of a weak Canadian dollar on U.S.-dollar purchases.

The Company's financial expenses went from $6.7 million in the first quarter of 2015 to $5.7 million this quarter. This $1.0 million decrease was largely due to a lower change in the fair value of participating loans and a decrease in interest expense arising from a reduction in indebtedness.

"Other (gains) losses" went from a $1.3 million gain in the first quarter of 2015 to a $0.9 million loss in 2016. The 2015 first‑quarter gain of $1.3 million was due to $2.1 million in foreign exchange gains partly offset by a $0.8 million loss related to a change in the fair value of interest rate swaps. The $0.9 million loss in the first quarter of 2016 was mainly due to $0.4 million in foreign exchange losses and to $0.4 million in losses resulting from a change in the fair value of interest rate swaps related to the term loan of Lassonde Pappas and Company, Inc.

Profit before income taxes totalled $20.9 million for the first quarter of 2016, up $9.3 million from $11.6 million in the same quarter of 2015.

Income taxes went from $3.4 million in the first quarter of 2015 to $7.0 million in the same quarter of 2016. At 33.4%, the 2016 first‑quarter effective income tax rate was higher than the 29.5% rate in the same quarter of 2015. The higher tax rate reflects an unfavourable change in the geographic mix of the Company's taxable income.

The 2016 first‑quarter profit was $13.9 million, up $5.7 million from $8.2 million in the first quarter of last year.

Profit attributable to the Company's shareholders was $13.0 million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $1.85 for the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2015, profit attributable to the Company's shareholders had totalled $7.8 million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $1.11.

Cash flows from operating activities generated $37.3 million in cash during the first quarter of 2016, while they had generated $15.4 million in cash during the same period last year. Financing activities used $9.0 million in the first quarter of 2016, while these activities had used $13.0 million in the same quarter of 2015. Investing activities used $9.1 million in the first quarter of 2016 compared to $2.9 million for the same quarter of 2015. At the end of the first quarter of 2016, the Company reported a cash and cash equivalents balance of $13.0 million and a bank overdraft of $2.4 million compared to a cash and cash equivalents balance of $0.4 million and a bank overdraft of $18.8 million at the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Outlook

The Company is seeing a slight contraction in industry sales in the U.S. fruit juice and drink market. In the Canadian market, the situation is similar, as industry sales are also down slightly, in part because of food price increases resulting from the impact of a low Canadian dollar. The competitive environment in Canada remains challenging, and the Company does not see any signs of competitive activity diminishing in 2016. The Company is seeking to limit the impact of this increased competition through adjustments to its sales and marketing strategies, national brand product innovation, and continued private label customer development.

During the first quarter of 2016, the Company's sales and profit increased significantly year over year. Part of this increase stems from the fact that, in the first quarter of 2016, there were five more delivery days than in the first quarter of 2015. The Company estimates that approximately half of its sales increase was due to these additional delivery days. Since the number of delivery days will remain constant for the year as a whole, an equivalent decrease in deliveries is expected to be spread out over the next three quarters of 2016. Moreover, the first quarter of 2016 also benefited from the fact that it included the entire and significant pre-Easter-holiday procurement period, whereas in 2015, this period had straddled the first and second quarters. Barring any significant external shocks (and excluding foreign exchange impacts to maintain a comparable basis), the Company remains optimistic about its ability to slightly increase its consolidated sales in 2016 compared to those of 2015.

About Lassonde

Lassonde Industries Inc. is a North American leader in the development, manufacture and sale of a wide range of ready-to-drink fruit and vegetable juices and drinks marketed under brands such as Apple & Eve, Everfresh, Fairlee, Fruité, Graves, Oasis and Rougemont.

Lassonde is also the second largest producer of store brand shelf-stable fruit juices and drinks in the United States and a major producer of cranberry sauces.

Lassonde also develops, manufactures and markets specialty food products under brands such as Antico and Canton. The Company imports and markets selected wines from various countries and manufactures apple ciders and cider-based beverages.

The Company produces superior quality products through the expertise of approximately 2,100 people working in 14 plants across Canada and the United States. To learn more, visit www.lassonde.com.

SEDAR registration number: 00002099

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

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 except as required by law.

 

SOURCE Lassonde Industries Inc.

For further information: Investor contact: Guy Blanchette, FCPA, FCA, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Lassonde Industries Inc., 450-469-4926, extension 10782; Media contact: Stefano Bertolli, Vice-President Communications, Lassonde Industries Inc., 450-469-4926, extension 10265

RELATED LINKS
http://www.lassonde.com

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890