Third quarter 2007 results: Lassonde Industries Announces Increase in Sales and Earnings



    ROUGEMONT, QC, Nov. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Lassonde Industries Inc.
(LAS.A-TSX) today announced that its net sales for the third quarter of 2007
totalled $98.2 million, representing a 7.9% increase over the amount of
$91.0 million recorded for the same quarter in the preceding fiscal year. For
the first nine months of 2007, net sales were $288.2 million, an increase of
10.2% over the corresponding first three quarters of 2006.
    Operating income as a percentage of net sales (operating margin)
increased in the third quarter as growth in net sales exceeded changes in cost
of goods sold as well as operating expenses and amortization. Operating margin
for the first nine months of the current fiscal year stood at 7.7%, in line
with the 7.7% operating margin recorded during the same period of the previous
fiscal year. Increases in the cost of certain commodities were in large part
compensated by the positive impact that the weakened U.S. dollar had on our
purchases.
    Lassonde's net earnings were $6.0 million for the third quarter of the
2007 fiscal year, representing an increase of 38.5% over the result of
$4.3 million garnered during the similar period of 2006. Net earnings for the
first nine months of 2007 were $14.0 million, a 42.7% increase over the net
earnings of $9.8 million reported in the previous fiscal year.
    It should be pointed out that the financial results of Lassonde
Industries during the second quarter of 2006 were affected by non-recurring
regulatory and legislative changes related to income taxes. These changes
negatively impacted the Company's financial results for the first nine months
of 2006 by approximately $3 million. Without these factors, the increase in
net earnings for the first nine months would be 8.9%.
    "We are pleased to see that the demand for the different product lines in
all our subsidiaries continues to grow and that consumers recognize the
quality of our juices, drinks and foods," stated Pierre-Paul Lassonde,
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lassonde Industries Inc.
"However, the positive impact of the weakened U.S. dollar will continue to be
partly compensated by significant pressures on the cost of certain basic
products where definite imbalances between supply and demand exist," Lassonde
added.

    
                           Key Financial Data (*)
                 (in thousands, except the amounts per share)

                                                         Q3-2007     Q3-2006
                                                       Unaudited   Unaudited

    Net sales (1)                                       $ 98,160    $ 90,968
                                                      -----------------------
    Cost of goods sold and operating expenses             86,396      81,482
    Amortization                                           2,306       2,405
                                                      -----------------------
                                                          88,702      83,887
                                                      -----------------------
    Operating income                                       9,458       7,081

    Other items
      Financial expenses                                     514         514
      Gain on disposal of fixed assets                        (2)         (2)
      Reduction in value of investments                        -          23
                                                      -----------------------
    Earnings before income taxes                           8,946       6,546
    Income taxes                                           2,964       2,228
                                                      -----------------------
    Net earnings                                        $  5,982    $  4,318
                                                      -----------------------
    Basic and diluted earnings per share                $   0.89    $   0.63
                                                      -----------------------
    Dividends declared per share                        $  0.125    $  0.155
                                                      -----------------------

    Weighted average number of shares outstanding          6,685       6,806

    (*) Note: These are financial highlights only. The Company's
        Management's Discussion and Analysis, and the unaudited
        consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes for the
        quarter ended September 29, 2007, are available on the SEDAR Web site
        at www.sedar.com

    (1) The figures of the preceding fiscal year were reclassified so that
        their presentation conforms to those figures used in the current
        fiscal year.
    

    On November 2, 2007, the Company acquired the assets related to the
manufacturing and marketing of ready-to-drink fruit juices and drinks from
McCain Foods (Canada), a division of McCain Foods Limited, for the price of
$13,600,000. In addition, the Company acquired certain inventories having a
value of $4,800,000 subject to certain adjustments. The acquisition was
financed in part by a loan received from the Company's largest long-term
lender and, in part, by funds generated from operating activities.
    This business development initiative by way of acquisition is not
expected to have a significant impact on the Company's profitability in the
fourth quarter of 2007.

    Lassonde Industries Inc. is a Canadian leader in the development,
manufacture and marketing of an extensive range of fruit and vegetable juices
and drinks, as well as fondue broths and sauces. The Company also markets
certain specialty food products, such as canned corn-on-the-cob, meat
marinades, barbecue sauces, baked beans and olive oil. During 2006, the
Company integrated the packaging and marketing of imported wines into its
business activities.
    Lassonde Industries Inc. has three major wholly-owned operating
subsidiaries: A. Lassonde Inc., Lassonde Specialties Inc. and Arista Wines
Inc. The Company's activities are conducted in eight plants where some
950 employees work.

    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, ext. 782


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