Lassonde Industries Inc. announces its Q3 2009 results

ROUGEMONT, QC, Nov. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - Lassonde Industries Inc. (TSX symbol: LAS.A) today announced that the Company's net sales increased by $3.2 million (+2.5%) during the third quarter of 2009 compared to the third quarter of 2008, while net earnings were $1.3 million (+20.8%) higher than the third quarter of 2008.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Financial highlights                           Third quarters ended

    (in thousands of dollars except
     basic and diluted earnings per share)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              September 27,
                                              September 26,           2008
                                                      2009      (unaudited)
                                                (unaudited)   (restated)(1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net sales                                     $127,523        $124,364
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating income                                11,545           9,637
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings before income taxes                    10,539           8,842
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings                                     7,282           6,026
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Basic and diluted earnings per share             $1.10           $0.90
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 September 26,
    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
    -----------------
    

The Company's net sales for the third quarter of 2009 totalled $127.5 million, up 2.5% from net sales of $124.4 million for the same period of 2008. The growth in net sales mainly reflects increased market share, partly offset by higher trade spending. For the first nine months of 2009, net sales totalled $384.8 million, up 3.3% from the amount of $372.3 million posted at the end of the first nine months of 2008.

The Company's operating income amounted to $11.5 million in the third quarter of 2009, up $1.9 million from the figure of $9.6 million posted in the third quarter of 2008. The 19.8% increase in operating income resulted primarily from growth in net sales and the positive combined impact of a stronger Canadian dollar and lower cost of concentrates. For the first nine months of 2009, operating income was $31.9 million, an increase of 2.7% from the figure of $31.1 million recorded at the end of the first nine months of 2008.

Earnings before income taxes stood at $10.5 million in the third quarter of 2009, up 19.2% from $8.8 million in the same period one year earlier. Earnings before income taxes for the first nine months of 2009 totalled $29.2 million, down $0.2 million from the amount of $29.4 million recorded in the same period of fiscal 2008.

Net earnings for the third quarter of 2009 totalled $7.3 million versus $6.0 million for the third quarter of 2008, which translates into basic and diluted earnings per share of $1.10 for the third quarter of 2009 versus $0.90 for the same period of 2008. Net earnings for the first nine months of 2009 totalled $20.4 million versus $21.6 million for the first nine months of 2008, which translates into basic and diluted earnings per share of $3.08 for 2009 versus $3.24 for 2008. Net earnings for the first nine months of 2008 were positively affected by the reversal of a $0.9 million interest expense provision and the reversal of a $1.3 million provision for income taxes following the settlement of notices of assessment related to Bill 15. Had it not been for the impact of this settlement on the 2008 results, net earnings for the first nine months of 2009 would have been up $1.0 million or 4.9% compared to the year-earlier period.

    
    Outlook
    -------
    

While the economic outlook appears to be improving, the Company has observed that the decline in the cost of certain commodities has resulted in downward pressure on the net selling price of many of its products.

In terms of raw material sourcing, prices have stabilized at levels lower than in 2008 except for the price of metal containers, which continues to be higher. The strengthening of the Canadian dollar has continued throughout the quarter. It should be noted however that the positive impact of a strong Canadian dollar on Lassonde Industries Inc.'s results will be largely offset by forward exchange contracts held by the Company to hedge the currency exposure, during the last quarter of 2009. The financial performance of Lassonde Industries Inc. continues to be sensitive to changes in raw material prices, but this risk is being limited, for the final quarter of 2009, by negotiated long-term supply agreements.

In this context, Lassonde Industries Inc. plans to maintain its business model based on a prudent management style. "We feel that we will be able to keep net sales in the last quarter of 2009 at a comparable level to that of the last three months of 2008," said Pierre-Paul Lassonde, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

    
    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

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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