SunOpta: Q2 2017 Financial Results
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TORONTO - SunOpta Inc. (“SunOpta”) (STKL) (SOY.TO), a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and specialty foods, announced financial results for the second quarter ended July 1, 2017.
“This quarter marks another important step in SunOpta’s journey. Through our Value Creation Plan we have brought intense focus to the organization on our strategic direction, and our leadership team has been upgraded and is fully engaged. With these foundational aspects in place, during the second quarter the Company was able to become fully engrossed in the actions that support the Value Creation Plan, which we expect will ultimately lead to sustainable, profitable results,” said David Colo, Chief Executive Officer. “This quarter saw us take meaningful action against all four pillars of our Value Creation Plan, including sharpening our portfolio focus by announcing the exit from re-sealable pouch products, improving our operational execution via the implementation of safety, quality and productivity programs, enhancing our go-to-market effectiveness via the build-out of a new food service distribution network, and ensuring the benefit of these efforts are sustainable via process and systems improvements.”
All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.
Second Quarter 2017 Highlights:
Revenues of $336.5 million for the second quarter of 2017, compared to $348.1 million in the second quarter of 2016, a decrease of 3.4%.
Gross profit of $41.7 million or 12.4% of revenues for the second quarter of 2017, versus $36.0 million or 10.3% of revenues in the second quarter of 2016. Excluding expenses in cost of goods sold that factor into adjusted earnings¹, the gross profit percentage in the second quarter of 2017 increased 100 basis points to 12.5% compared to 11.5% in the second quarter of 2016.
Adjusted EBITDA¹ of $19.4 million or 5.8% of revenues for the second quarter of 2017, versus $23.5 million or 6.7% of revenues in the second quarter of 2016.
Loss from continuing operations of $0.4 million or $0.03 per diluted common share in the second quarter of 2017, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $4.1 million or $0.05 per diluted common share in the second quarter of 2016.
Adjusted loss from continuing operations¹ of $0.7 million or $0.01 per diluted common share during the second quarter of 2017, compared to adjusted earnings¹ of $4.1 million or $0.05 per diluted common share during the second quarter of 2016.
Value Creation Plan Update
As part of the Company’s commitment to deliver long-term value to its shareholders, in early 2017 it launched its Value Creation Plan. The Company is targeting implementation of $30 million of productivity-driven annualized enhancements of EBITDA in the first phase of the plan, to be implemented over 2017 and 2018. For 2017 these EBITDA benefits will be offset by expenses associated with the Value Creation Plan, including structural investments made in the areas of quality, sales, marketing, operations and engineering resources, as well as non-structural third-party consulting support, severance and recruiting costs. The plan also calls for increased investment in capital upgrades at several manufacturing facilities to enhance food safety and manufacturing efficiencies. Over time, these investments are expected to yield additional improvement in EBITDA beyond the $30 million of initial productivity-driven savings. For the second quarter of 2017, the Company made progress against each of the four pillars of its Value Creation Plan and believes it is on track to achieve targeted productivity enhancements, while continuing to make the necessary structural investments it believes will accelerate growth and drive long-term value. Recent progress on each of the four pillars of the Value Creation Plan is highlighted below.
The focus of the portfolio optimization pillar is to simplify the business, investing where structural advantages exist, while exiting businesses or product lines where the Company is not effectively positioned. Recent highlights include:
Announced the discontinuation of flexible re-sealable pouch products along with an agreement to sell the associated pouch equipment for $2.0 million, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2017.
Initiated a plan to consolidate certain soy and specialty grain volume and close an under-utilized facility to enhance facility utilization and reduce operating costs.
Purchased the remaining 25% minority interest stake in the Company’s Mexican frozen fruit operations and broke ground on an expansion project to add incremental freezing capacity, storage, and retail bagging capabilities to the Mexican frozen fruit facility.
Approved plans to increase capabilities at sunflower operations in both North America and Europe, as well as a capacity expansion at the speciality cocoa processing facility in the Netherlands.
Since the initiation of the Value Creation Plan, the Company has implemented portfolio changes that are expected to yield $4.2 million of annualized EBITDA benefits.
The focus of the operational excellence pillar is to ensure food quality and safety, coupled with improved operational performance and efficiency. These efforts are expected to generate productivity improvements and cost savings in manufacturing, procurement and logistics. Recent highlights include:
Launched “SunOpta 360”, initially across the network of aseptic beverage facilities, establishing a sustainable continuous improvement methodology for the Company.
Enhanced food safety and quality across the manufacturing platform via the roll-out of new processes and systems.
Continued to identify and implement productivity initiatives focusing on manufacturing efficiencies, purchasing synergies and effective freight management.
Initiated rapid recovery plans to resolve performance issues at certain consumer product manufacturing facilities which, during the first half of 2017, have partially consumed the benefit driven from other productivity initiatives.
Since the initiation of the Value Creation Plan, the Company has implemented process improvements and cost savings that are expected to yield $3.1 million of annualized EBITDA benefits.
The focus of the go-to-market effectiveness pillar is to optimize customer and product mix in existing sales channels, and identify and penetrate new high-potential sales channels. The Company expects efforts under this pillar to improve revenue growth and profitability over time. Recent highlights include:
Completed the creation of a new food service distribution network, leveraging third parties, which will support the Company’s plan to grow and diversify penetration into the food service channel.
Continued to attract and hire new commercial talent in the areas of sales, marketing and R&D which has furthered the development of control branded products that are expected to enhance access to the food service channel.
Increased the pipeline of commercial opportunities across the beverage, fruit and snack categories.
Since the initiation of the Value Creation Plan, the Company has implemented go-to-market improvements through strategic pricing actions that are expected to yield $2.0 million of annualized EBITDA benefits.
The focus of the process sustainability pillar is to ensure the Company has the infrastructure, systems and skills to sustain the business improvements and value captured from the Value Creation Plan. Broadening the skillset and experience of SunOpta's leadership team is a critical component to the process sustainability pillar of the Value Creation Plan. Recent highlights include:
Completed the onboarding of key senior leaders and continued to add new talent in areas of sales and marketing, engineering, supply chain and procurement.
Further maturation of the sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes which were kicked off in the first quarter resulting in improved customer service levels.
Continued enhancements to ERP systems in consumer products facilities.
Second Quarter 2017 Results
Revenues for the second quarter of 2017 were $336.5 million, a decrease of 3.4% compared to $348.1 million in the second quarter of 2016. Excluding the impact on revenues for the second quarter of 2017 of changes in commodity-related pricing, foreign exchange rates and the impact on west coast pouch operations as a result of a fire at a third-party facility, revenues in the second quarter of 2017 decreased by 0.6% compared with the second quarter of 2016.
The Consumer Products segment generated revenues from external customers of $187.0 million during the second quarter of 2017, a decrease of 1.4% compared to $189.6 million in the second quarter of 2016. Excluding the impact of the fire at a third-party facility, revenues in Consumer Products decreased 0.2% compared to the second quarter of 2016. The revenue decline was driven by reduced sales of retail packaged frozen fruit and aseptic beverage products, partially offset by increased beverage sales into the food service channel, as well as higher refrigerated juice and specialty bar sales.
The Global Ingredients segment generated revenues from external customers of $149.4 million, a decline of 5.7% compared to $158.5 million in the second quarter of 2016. Excluding the impact on revenues of changes in commodity-related pricing and foreign exchange rates, Global Ingredients revenue decreased 1.2% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with the second quarter of 2016. The revenue decline reflected lower volumes of raw and roasted sunflower products, lower crop input sales due to a reduction in contracted acres and lower specialty ingredient sales partially offset by increased sales of non-GMO soy.
Gross profit was $41.7 million for the second quarter of 2017, compared to $36.0 million for the second quarter of 2016. As a percentage of revenues, gross profit for the second quarter of 2017 was 12.4% compared to 10.3% in the second quarter of 2016. The gross profit percentage for the second quarter of 2017 would have been approximately 12.5%, excluding $0.3 million of costs related to plant closure and other transition expenses, as compared to an adjusted gross profit percentage of 11.5% in the second quarter of 2016. The improvement in gross margin reflected operational savings from the closure of the San Bernardino juice facility, improved productivity across the frozen fruit network and favorable foreign exchange impact on purchase contracts for organic raw materials. These factors were partially offset by reduced operational efficiencies in our sunflower and roasting operations due to lower customer demand following the recall.
Operating income¹ was $2.6 million, or 0.8% of revenues, compared to operating income of $8.8 million, or 2.5% of revenues in the second quarter of 2016. The decrease in operating income year-over-year is primarily attributable to increased structural and non-structural costs associated with the execution of the Value Creation Plan. The operating income percentage for the second quarter of 2017 would have been approximately 3.0%, excluding $7.0 million of non-structural third-party consulting costs, employee recruitment, relocation and retention costs, and the costs discussed above that impacted costs of sales, all incurred in relation to the Value Creation Plan.
Adjusted EBITDA¹ was $19.4 million or 5.8% of revenues in the second quarter of 2017, compared to $23.5 million or 6.8% of revenues in the second quarter of 2016.
The Company reported a net loss from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2017 of $0.4 million, or $0.03 per common share, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $4.1 million, or $0.05 per diluted common share during the second quarter of 2016. Adjusted loss¹ from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2017 was $0.7 million or $0.01 per diluted common share, compared to adjusted earnings¹ of $4.1 million or $0.01 per diluted common share in the second quarter of 2016. Please refer to the discussion and table below under “Non-GAAP Measures - Adjusted Earnings”.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
At July 1, 2017, SunOpta’s balance sheet reflected total assets of $1,149.8 million and total debt of $467.7 million. Cash used in operating activities was $6.3 million in the first half of 2017, compared to cash used in operating activities from continuing operations of $52.3 million in the first half of 2016. The $46.0 million decrease in cash used in operating activities was driven by less cash used to fund working capital, due in part to liquidity optimization efforts undertaken as part of the Value Creation Plan. Working capital requirements are seasonal, and the Company expects to see working capital decrease over the second half of 2017. At July 1, 2017, leverage was approximately 6.1 times Adjusted EBITDA¹ on a trailing four quarter adjusted basis, after eliminating the negative impact on EBITDA from the San Bernardino juice facility.
¹ See discussion of non-GAAP measures
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified ("non-GMO") and specialty foods. SunOpta specializes in the sourcing, processing and packaging of organic and non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategic vertically integrated business models. SunOpta's organic and non-GMO food operations revolve around value-added grain, seed, fruit and vegetable based product offerings, supported by a global sourcing and supply infrastructure.