Lassonde Industries Inc. announces its results for the second quarter of 2009



    ROUGEMONT, QC, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Lassonde Industries Inc. (LAS.A -
TSX) announced today that the Company's net sales grew by $8.2 million during
the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter of 2008. Net earnings
were down $2.2 million from the second quarter of 2008, which was positively
affected by reversals of provisions totalling $2.3 million following the
settlement of notices of assessment related to tax changes. Without these
reversals, net earnings for the second quarter of 2009 would have been up $0.1
million or 0.8% compared to the second quarter of 2008.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Financial highlights                           Second quarters ended

    (in thousands of dollars except
    basic and diluted earnings per share)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              June 27, 2009   June 28, 2008
                                                 (unaudited)     (unaudited)
                                                               (restated)(1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net sales                                      $137,145        $128,952
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating income                                 11,223          11,450
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings before income taxes                     10,188          11,588
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings                                      7,248           9,462
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Basic and diluted earnings per share           $   1.09        $   1.42
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: These are financial highlights only. Management's Discussion and
    Analysis, the unaudited consolidated financial statements and notes
    thereto of Lassonde Industries Inc. for the quarter ended June 27, 2009
    will be available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com and on the
    website of Lassonde Industries Inc.

    (1) The comparative figures of the year-earlier quarter have been
    restated to reflect a new accounting standard on goodwill and intangible
    assets that was applied as of January 1, 2009. This new standard was
    applied retroactively with restatement of the prior period consolidated
    financial statements. Under this standard, the Company now accounts for
    acquisitions of deferred charges directly as a reduction to sales.
    Previously, such deferred charges were recorded at cost and amortized
    over periods ranging from 12 to 24 months. The amortization was applied
    against sales.


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

    Net sales for the second quarter of 2009 totalled $137.1 million, a 6.4%
increase over the $129.0 million in net sales recorded at the end of the
second quarter of 2008. The increase reflects higher market shares and is
partially offset by an increase in trade spending, which is applied against
the Company's sales. For the first six months of the current year, net sales
totalled $257.2 million, up 3.8% from $247.9 million at the end of the first
half of 2008.
    The Company's operating income went from $11.4 million in the second
quarter of 2008 to $11.2 million for the same quarter of 2009, down 2.0%. The
favourable impact of higher net sales on operating income was not sufficient
to offset higher selling and marketing expenses incurred to raise awareness of
some major brands. For the first six months of 2009, operating income stood at
$20.4 million, down 4.9% from the $21.5 million recorded at the end of the
year-earlier first half.
    Earnings before income taxes stood at $10.2 million at the end of the
second quarter of 2009, a 12.1% decrease from the $11.6 million recorded for
the same quarter of the previous year. Note that, in 2008, earnings before
income taxes reflected the reversal of a $1.0 million interest expense
provision (related to the settlement of notices of assessment issued following
the Quebec government's enactment of Bill 15 in June 2006, amending the
Taxation Act with retroactive effect). Excluding the impact of this
settlement, earnings before income taxes for the second quarter of 2009 would
have been down only $0.4 million or 3.7% from the year-earlier quarter.
Earnings before income taxes for the first half of 2009 stood at $18.6
million, down 9.5% from the $20.6 million recorded for the first six months of
2008. If not for the impact of the settlement of matters arising from the
notices of assessment related to Bill 15 in 2008, earnings before income taxes
for the first half of 2009 would have been down $0.9 million or 4.8% from the
first half of 2008.
    Second quarter net earnings totalled $7.2 million versus $9.5 million for
the second quarter of 2008, which translates into basic and diluted earnings
per share of $1.09 for the second quarter of 2009 versus $1.42 for the same
period of 2008. Again, it should be noted that net earnings for the second
quarter of 2008 was positively affected by the reversal of the $1.0 million
interest expense provision discussed above and a reversal of a $1.3 million
tax provision following the settlement of notices of assessment related to
Bill 15. Excluding the impact of this settlement on the results of 2008, net
earnings for the second quarter of 2009 would have been up $0.1 million or
0.8% compared to the second quarter of 2008. Basic and diluted earnings per
share for the second quarter of 2008 would have been $1.08 without the
favourable impact of reversals related to the settlement of notices of
assessment.

    Outlook
    -------

    Although the food industry in which Lassonde Industries Inc. operates is
generally perceived as being less affected by economic downturns, the Company
has observed that demand in the food services segment continues to be slightly
weaker.
    Strong fluctuations in the Canadian dollar were also observed during the
quarter. If this volatility in the Canadian currency persists over the final
two quarters of 2009, its impact on results should largely be mitigated by
forward exchange contracts held by the Company to hedge this type of risk. The
financial performance of Lassonde Industries Inc. continues to be sensitive to
changes in raw material prices but this risk is controlled and limited, for
the remaining quarters of 2009, by negotiated long-term supply agreements.
    In this context, Lassonde Industries Inc. plans to maintain its business
model and prudent management style. "Management believes that, for the coming
quarters of 2009, the Company should be able to keep its net sales at levels
comparable to those of 2008" said Mr. Pierre-Paul Lassonde, Chairman of the
Board and CEO.

    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 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




For further information:

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


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