09.11.11

SunOpta: Q3 results

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SunOpta Inc., a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods and natural health products, today announced financial results for the quarter and three quarters ended October 1, 2011. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.

For the quarter ended October 1, 2011, the Company realized quarterly revenues of $272.4 million versus revenues of $217.5 million for the quarter ended October 2, 2010, a year over year increase of 25.3%. This increase reflects continued growth in the natural and organic foods sectors. Revenues increased 14.6% excluding the impact of the acquisitions completed during 2010 and 2011.

For the quarter ended October 1, 2011 the Company realized earnings per diluted common share from continuing operations of $0.06 or $3.7 million, as compared to $0.00 or a loss of $0.2 million for the quarter ended October 2, 2010. These results were driven by continued strong performance in the International Foods Group offset by reduced earnings in the Grains and Foods Group due to commodity market pressures in the sunflower segment, reduced earnings in the Ingredients Group due in part to the loss of a major customer earlier in the year, and reduced earnings at Opta Minerals due primarily to the impact of foreign exchange losses realized in 2011 versus significant gains in the third quarter of 2010.

The quarterly results include additional pre-tax costs of approximately $2.1 million related primarily to rationalization and legal matters, acquisition and start-up costs, plus foreign exchange losses as a result of significant currency fluctuations during the quarter.

For the quarter ended October 1, 2011, the Company realized EBITDA1 of $12.5 million as compared to $14.7 million for the quarter ended October 2, 2010.

For the three quarters ended October 1, 2011, the Company has realized revenues of $823.6 million versus revenues of $667.7 million for the three quarters ended October 2, 2010, a year over year increase of 23.3%. Revenues increased 12.5% excluding the impact of the acquisitions completed late in 2010 and in the third quarter of 2011.

For the three quarters ended October 1, 2011, the Company has realized earnings per diluted common share from continuing operations of $0.21 or $13.8 million, as compared to $0.16 or $10.6 million for the three quarters ended October 2, 2010. For the three quarters ended October 1, 2011 the Company realized EBITDA1 of $42.5 million as compared to $45.5 million for the three quarters ended October 2, 2010.

At October 1, 2011, the Company's balance sheet reflects a current ratio of 1.49 to 1.00, long-term debt to equity ratio of 0.18 to 1.00 and total debt to equity ratio of 0.53 to 1.00. For the quarter ended October 1, 2011, the Company generated cash from continuing operating activities of $11.7 million as compared to $20.3 million for the quarter ended October 2, 2010. At the end of the quarter, the Company has total debt outstanding of $161.7 million, a decrease of $6.1 million from the period ended July 2, 2011. At October 1, 2011, the Company has total assets of $624.3 million and a net book value of $4.65 per outstanding share. At quarter-end, the Company was in compliance with all its debt covenants.

Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta, commented, "Results for the third quarter reflect continued growth in the core natural and organic foods categories within which we operate. Our results also reflect the impact of the difficult commodity environment over the course of this year, especially in the sunflower component of our business. We continue to be very confident in our strategy and are encouraged by the number of new initiatives and opportunities in the pipeline. We are focused on expanding our business in fast growing healthy foods categories while at the same time improving operating margins and returns on assets employed. We believe we are well positioned in the natural and organic foods sector and are confident in our future prospects."

1See discussion of non-GAAP measures

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods. 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 significant vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company has two non-core holdings, a 66.4% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials, and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.

SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

CONTACT:
Steve Bromley, President & CEO
Tony Tavares, Vice President & COO
Robert McKeracher, Vice President & CFO
Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer
Tel: 905-455-2528, ext 103
susan.wiekenkamp@sunopta.com
Website:  www.sunopta.com
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