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SunOpta: Q1 results

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TORONTO - SunOpta Inc. (STKL) (SOY.TO), a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, today announced financial results for the 13-week first quarter ended April 4, 2015. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.

First Quarter 2015 Highlights

    Revenues increased 9.1% within SunOpta Foods and 6.9% on a consolidated basis after adjusting for an additional week of sales in the first quarter of 2014, as well as changes including commodity prices, foreign exchange rates, and product rationalizations.
    Reported revenues of $303.4 million versus $322.4 million in the prior year, a 5.9% decrease on a consolidated basis and 4.8% decrease within SunOpta Foods.
    Operating income(1) of $9.4 million, or 3.1% of revenues versus $12.0 million or 3.7% in the prior year which included an extra week in the quarter.
    EBITDA(1) of $14.8 million, or 4.9% of revenues versus $17.4 million or 5.4% of revenues in the prior year which included an extra week in the quarter.
    Earnings of $5.2 million, or $0.08 per diluted common share, which includes earnings in the core foods business of $0.09 per diluted common share, partially offset by a loss of $0.01 per diluted common share attributable to non-core operations, versus earnings of $6.6 million, or $0.10 per diluted common share in the prior year, which includes the impact from the extra week of business.

(All comparisons above are to the 14-week quarter ended April 5, 2014)

"We started the year by continuing to further execute on our core strategies across our portfolio to better position us for long-term growth and margin enhancement. Our solid results in Global Ingredients were offset by weakness in Consumer Products, although we did see improved performance within Consumer Products on a sequential quarter basis. We expect our business to continue to evolve, and we believe our natural and organic foods business is well-positioned to serve the growing and sustainable consumer shift towards healthy and better-for-you food products," said Steve Bromley, Chief Executive Officer, of SunOpta Inc. "The improvement of operating margins within Consumer Products remains a primary focus for us and we are working on a number of fronts, including facility and capabilities expansion, cost reduction initiatives, and growth through innovation to help generate results. Going forward, we believe we are well-positioned in growing markets and we have the financial flexibility to continue to capture growth and leverage our integrated platform."

First Quarter 2015 Results

Revenues for the 13-week first quarter decreased 5.9% to $303.4 million compared to $322.4 million for the 14-week first quarter of 2014. The extra week contributed approximately $21.3 million of the revenue in the first quarter of 2014. After adjusting for the impact of changes including commodity prices, foreign exchange rates, product rationalizations and an additional week of sales in the first quarter of 2014, consolidated revenues increased 6.9% and SunOpta Foods revenues increased 9.1% versus the prior year first quarter. The increase in revenues was primarily due to stronger demand for organic ingredients in the U.S. and Europe, partially offset by lower sales in snack-based food categories and competitive pressures on certain steel and industrial mineral products in Opta Minerals.

Operating income(1) was $9.4 million, or 3.1% of revenues, compared to $12.0 million, or 3.7% of revenues in the first quarter of 2014. SunOpta Foods operating income, including corporate services, was $10.0 million, or 3.6% of revenues, compared to $11.0 million, or 3.8% of revenues in the prior year first quarter. The decline in operating income is attributable to lower volumes of snack products, higher raw material costs in frozen fruit, costs associated with the retrofit of the Company's premium juice operation, and costs related to expansion activities at the Allentown, Pennsylvania facility to add aseptic beverage processing and filling capabilities. These pressures were partially offset by increased volumes of organic ingredients and improved performance within the Company's rationalized sunflower operations. In addition, lower volumes of higher-margin steel products at Opta Minerals resulted in an operating loss of $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2015, a decrease in operating income of $1.5 million as compared to the prior year.

Earnings for the 13-week first quarter of 2015 were $5.2 million, or $0.08 per diluted common share, compared to $6.6 million, or $0.10 per diluted common share, during the 14-week first quarter of 2014. Earnings for the first quarter of 2015 includes approximately $1.2 million, or approximately $0.01 per diluted common share, of incremental costs related to the retrofit of the San Bernardino premium juice facility, which is now operational, expansion activities at the Allentown aseptic facility scheduled to come on-line in the fourth quarter of 2015, and the effect of west coast port delays on export shipments to Asia.

EBITDA was $14.8 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $17.4 million in the prior year.

Balance Sheet

The Company's balance sheet remains strong and at April 4, 2015 reflected a net debt to equity ratio of 0.41 to 1.00. At April 4, 2015, the Company had total debt outstanding of $144.7 million, net debt of $141.3 million, total assets of $671.4 million, shareholders' equity of $345.2 million and a net book value of $5.10 per outstanding share.


About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods products. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fruit and vegetable based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company also has an approximately 66% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc., listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials.

www.sunopta.com

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