06.03.13

SunOpta: Record 2012 Results

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TORONTO -SunOpta Inc., a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, announced financial results for the year ended December 29, 2012. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.

Fourth Quarter 2012 Highlights:

    Record revenues of $270.1 million, an increase of approximately 12% versus 2011
    Operating income of $7.2 million, an increase of 46% versus 2011
    Record fourth quarter earnings of $4.4 million versus a loss of $7.6 million in 2011
    Earnings per diluted common share of $0.07 versus a loss of $0.11 in 2011

Fiscal 2012 Highlights:

    Record revenues of $1.091 billion, an increase of approximately 7% versus 2011
    Operating income of $47.0 million, an increase of 39% versus 2011
    Record earnings of $24.2 million, an increase of 357% versus 2011
    Earnings per diluted common share increased to a record $0.36 versus $0.08 in 2011

"We are pleased with our fiscal 2012 financial results which reflect both record revenues and earnings. We continue to execute on our core strategies focused on growing our value-added packaged foods and ingredients portfolio, and leveraging our integrated platform," commented Steve Bromley, Chief Executive Officer. "While our results improved significantly in fiscal 2012, we will continue to develop our global integrated natural and organic foods platform in support of our established operating targets. We continue to believe that healthy eating and healthy living are key long-term global trends and further believe that we are well positioned to be a key player in these markets."

Fourth Quarter 2012 Results

Revenues for the fourth quarter increased approximately 12% to $270.1 million as compared to $242.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Excluding the impact of changes including foreign exchange rates, commodity-related pricing, acquisitions and rationalized product lines, revenues increased approximately 6% on a consolidated basis versus the prior year. The increase in consolidated revenues in the fourth quarter was driven by strong growth across integrated packaged food product categories within SunOpta Foods, particularly in the areas of packaged aseptic non-dairy beverages and pouch products, as well as higher sales within Opta Minerals Inc. as a result of recent acquisitions.

Operating income1 increased approximately 46% to $7.2 million, or 2.6% of revenues for the fourth quarter of 2012 as compared to $4.9 million, or 2.0% of revenues in 2011. This increase was due to a significant improvement in operating income in the Consumer Products Group versus the prior year as a result of a decrease in rationalization costs in the Frozen Foods operations and leveraged selling, general and administrative costs due in part to streamlining and rationalizations completed over the past year.

Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $4.4 million, or $0.07 per diluted common share, as compared to a loss of $7.6 million, or $0.11 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. Excluding discontinued operations, earnings during the fourth quarter of 2012 were $4.3 million or $0.06 per diluted common share, versus $1.4 million or $0.02 per diluted common share during the fourth quarter of 2011. Fourth quarter 2012 earnings include the impact of approximately $1.2 million in pre-tax severance, acquisition, start-up costs ($0.6 million after-tax and minority interest), offset by approximately $0.6 million in tax adjustments that lowered the Company's effective tax rate.

For the fourth quarter of 2012 EBITDA1 increased 33% to $12.4 million as compared to $9.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Fiscal 2012 Results

For fiscal 2012 revenues increased 7% to $1.091 billion versus revenues of $1.020 billion in 2011. Excluding the impact of changes including foreign exchange rates, commodity-related pricing, acquisitions and rationalized product lines, revenues increased approximately 6% on a consolidated basis. The increase in consolidated revenues in 2012 was driven by strong growth within integrated packaged food product categories and the benefit of increased prices and higher volume of sales of raw grains in SunOpta Foods, as well as higher sales within Opta Minerals as a result of recent acquisitions. These increases were partially offset by the effect of lower fiber and fruit ingredient sales and decreased revenues in the Company's European organic ingredients operation.

Operating income1 for fiscal 2012 increased 39% to $47.0 million or 4.3% of revenues, versus $33.8 million, or 3.3% of revenues in the prior year. This increase was primarily due to improved operating income in the Grains and Foods Group, Consumer Products Group and Opta Minerals versus the prior year.

For fiscal 2012, earnings increased 357% to $24.2 million, or $0.36 per diluted common share, as compared to earnings of $5.3 million, or $0.08 per diluted common share in 2011. Excluding discontinued operations, earnings were $23.0 million or $0.34 per diluted common share, versus $16.2 million, or $0.24 per diluted common share in 2011.

Fiscal 2012 EBITDA1 increased 30% to $67.2 million as compared to $51.6 million in fiscal 2011.

Balance Sheet

The Company's balance sheet remains strong, and shareholders' equity increased to $326.2 million as of December 29, 2012 compared to $299.1 million at December 31, 2011. At the end of fiscal 2012 the Company's balance sheet reflects a current ratio of 1.46 to 1.00, and a total debt to equity ratio of 0.58 to 1.00. At December 29, 2012, the Company had total debt outstanding of $189.3 million, total assets of $707.3 million and a net book value of $4.94 per outstanding share. During fiscal 2012 the Company generated cash from operating activities of $31.0 million versus cash used in operating activities of $5.6 million in 2011, indicative of improved earnings and less cash used to fund working capital.

 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, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The company has two non-core holdings, a 66.1% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc., listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.

Contact:
SunOpta Inc.
Steve Bromley, CEO
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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