Release of Results for the 4th Quarter and Fiscal 2007: Lassonde Industries Inc. Achieves 2007 Business Objectives



    ROUGEMONT, QC, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Lassonde Industries Inc.
(LAS.A - TSX) today reported growth in net sales, net earnings and cash flows
for the fourth quarter of 2007 as well as for the whole fiscal year ended
December 31, 2007.
    Some key financial highlights are presented below:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Key Financial Highlights
    (in thousands of dollars       Quarters ended           Years ended
    except earnings per share)      December 31             December 31
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    2007        2006        2007        2006
                              (unaudited) (unaudited)   (audited)   (audited)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net sales                  $ 112,748   $  91,839   $ 400,988   $ 353,318
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating income(1)        $  13,294   $   6,450   $  35,438   $  26,704
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings before
     income taxes              $  12,404   $   6,014   $  33,045   $  24,504
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings               $   9,329   $   3,933   $  23,331   $  13,748
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings per share         $    1.40   $    0.58   $    3.49   $    2.02
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total assets               $ 285,484   $ 224,764   $ 285,484   $ 224,764
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash flows from operating
     activities                $  13,496   $   8,189   $  40,177   $  25,048
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shareholders' equity       $ 141,928   $ 124,574   $ 141,928   $ 124,574
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shareholders'
     equity/total assets            49.7%       55.4%       49.7%       55.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) The figures from the preceding year have been reclassified to conform
        to the presentation of this year's data.

    Note to financial highlights: These are financial highlights only.
    Management's Discussion and Analysis and the audited consolidated
    financial statements and notes thereto of Lassonde Industries Inc. for
    the year ended December 31, 2007 will be available on the SEDAR Web site
    at www.sedar.com.
    

    "I am pleased to announce that during fiscal year 2007, we achieved the
business objectives we had set for ourselves and also made gains in most of
our geographic markets, particularly outside of Quebec where higher growth
potential had been identified," asserted Mr. Pierre-Paul Lassonde, Chairman of
the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lassonde Industries Inc.
    The Company reported, in fact, that net sales reached $401.0 million in
fiscal 2007, representing an increase of 13.5% compared to net sales of
$353.3 million recorded during the previous fiscal year. As to the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2007, the Company posted net sales of $112.7 million, a
growth of 22.8% when compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The
growth in net sales is the result, among other things, of an increase in
market share that can be attributed to a greater presence in the markets of
Ontario and western Canada, and of certain adjustments to the selling price of
the products. The increase in net sales during the fourth quarter is also
attributable to the two acquisitions recently announced which added
approximately $6 million to the total volume of net sales.
    Net earnings for the year ended December 31, 2007 are $23.3 million or
$3.49 per share, an increase of $9.6 million over the net earnings of
$13.7 million, or $2.02 per share, posted in 2006. This significant rise in
2007 net earnings can be explained mostly by the increase in net sales. In
addition, economies of scale from increased activity levels resulted in an
improvement in the Company's operating income.
    When comparing the net earnings of fiscal 2007 versus fiscal 2006, it is
also important to note that the income tax provision for the 2006 fiscal year
had been negatively affected by a charge of $3.7 million for retroactive tax
adjustments as well as by a tax benefit of $1.0 million, arising from the
impact of reductions in the statutory tax rate on future income taxes of the
Company. In contrast, the fiscal 2007 tax provision was positively affected
and reduced by $1.4 million due to future income tax adjustments following the
implementation of a progressive reduction in the statutory federal tax rate
enacted on December 13, 2007, and another reduction in the statutory federal
tax rate that came into effect in June 2007. As a result of these elements,
the 2007 income tax expense reflects a $4.1 million favourable variance over
that of fiscal 2006.
    The Company reported net earnings of $9.3 million or $1.40 per share in
the fourth quarter of 2007, representing an increase of $5.4 million over the
comparative quarterly results of $3.9 million, or $0.58 per share posted in
2006. The growth in profitability in the fourth quarter can be explained, in
part, by the 22.8% increase in net sales and its impact on the Company's
operating income. It should also be noted that the announced reductions of
federal income tax rates added $1.2 million to the fourth quarter results of
2007. Without these changes in future tax rates, announced in December 2007,
income taxes for the quarter would have been $ 4.3 million.
    Cash flows from operating activities increased 60.4% in 2007, going from
$25.0 million in 2006 to $40.2 million in 2007. These variations are a result
of the increase of the net earnings of the period combined with higher
amortization expenses.
    During the year ended December 31, 2007, in accordance with the rules and
policies on normal course issuer bids of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the
Company redeemed 54,160 Class A subordinate voting shares at an average price
of $37.71 per share, for a consideration of $2,042,000, of which $244,000 was
a reduction of share capital , $1,790,000 was a reduction of retained earnings
and $8,000 was a reduction of contributed surplus. The redeemed Class A shares
were cancelled. The Company has decided to continue its share redemption
program in 2008.

    Dividends

    On February 20, 2008, the Company's Board of Directors declared a
quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share, payable on March 17, 2008, to holders
of Class A and Class B shares registered in the Company's records as of
February 29, 2008. This is an eligible dividend.

    Outlook

    Despite signs of an economic slowdown and the pervasive volatility in the
cost of commodities, the Company's sound cost-control practices and ability to
adapt to a rapidly changing competitive landscape support its optimistic
outlook, with respect to its ability to grow its net sales in the majority of
its geographic markets in 2008. The integration of the company's recent
acquisitions represents one of the Company's priorities for the new fiscal
year.
    Further, the Company will continue to build on the quality of its
products, reputation of its trademarks such as Oasis, Fairlee and Canton,
propensity for innovation, and solid balance sheet in the pursuit of its
objectives of growth, profitability and value creation.

    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, Finance,
Lassonde Industries Inc., (450) 469-4926, extension 782


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