News

Rougemont, Quebec, November 8, 2019 – Lassonde Industries Inc. (TSX:?LAS.A) (“Lassonde”) posted sales of $422.9?million in the third quarter of 2019, up 1.0% year over year. The Company’s operating profit for the third quarter of 2019 totalled $25.0?million, down $1.5?million from operating profit in the same quarter last year, when excluding the favourable impact in 2018 of a $2.6?million reduction to customs duties paid in previous years. Excluding the favourable impact, net of tax, in 2018 of this reduction, the 2019 third-quarter profit attributable to the Company’s shareholders totalled $15.3?million, down $0.8?million year over year.

Financial highlights

(in thousands of dollars)

Third quarters

ended

September 28,

2019

September 29,

2018

Sales $ 422,882 ? $ 418,645
Operating profit 24,952 29,064
Profit before income taxes 21,246 23,633
Profit attributable to the Company’s shareholders 15,345 17,979
Basic and diluted earnings per share (in $) $?????? 2.21 ? $?????? 2.57

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Note: These are financial highlights only. Management’s Discussion and Analysis, the unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and notes thereto for the quarter ended September 28, 2019 are available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com and on the website of Lassonde Industries Inc.

 

“The 2019 third-quarter operating profit was affected by higher manufacturing overhead costs in the United States and by a slower rate of production arising from new equipment being installed at one of our Canadian plants. Selling prices continue to be adjusted in the U.S. market but at a pace not sufficient to offset cost increases,” said Nathalie Lassonde, Chief Executive Officer of Lassonde?Industries?Inc.

 

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Financial Results

For the third quarter of 2019, the Company’s sales totalled $422.9?million, up $4.3?million or 1.0% from $418.6?million in the third quarter of 2018. It should be noted that, during the third quarter of 2018, the Company had benefited from a favourable decision by a U.S. administrative tribunal on product classification and that reduced the customs duties paid in previous years by $2.6?million. Excluding this item and a $2.7?million favourable foreign exchange impact, the Company’s third-quarter sales were up $4.2?million year over year. This increase was largely due to an increase in sales of private label products, partly offset by a decrease in sales of national brand products. For the first nine months of 2019, sales totalled $1,246.2?million, up 6.8% from $1,167.2?million in the first nine months of 2018.

The Company’s operating profit for the third quarter of 2019 totalled $25.0?million, down $4.1?million from $29.1?million in the same quarter last year. Excluding the favourable impact in 2018 of the $2.6?million reduction to customs duties paid in previous years, the Company’s 2019 third-quarter operating profit was down $1.5?million year over year. This decrease was due to a lower gross margin from the Company’s U.S. operations largely resulting from higher manufacturing overhead costs and lower sales volume, partly offset by selling price adjustments and a decrease in the cost of certain inputs. As for the Canadian operations, the third-quarter gross margin was higher than that of the same quarter last year, mostly due to selling price adjustments and a decrease in the cost of certain inputs. These items were partly offset by an unfavourable foreign exchange impact and the impact of a slower rate of production resulting from investment-related work at one of the Company’s plants. It should be noted that the adoption of IFRS 16 on January 1, 2019 had a $0.1?million favourable impact on the 2019 third-quarter operating profit. Operating profit for the first nine months of 2019 totalled $75.9?million, down $3.5?million from $79.4?million in the first nine months of 2018.

The Company’s financial expenses went from $5.1?million in the third quarter of 2018 to $4.6?million in the third quarter of 2019. This decrease was essentially due to a $0.8?million decrease in the interest expense on long-term debt, partly offset by a $0.3?million interest expense on lease liabilities resulting from the adoption of IFRS 16 on January 1, 2019. For the nine-month periods, financial expenses went from $10.6?million in 2018 to $14.4?million in 2019.

“Other (gains) losses” went from a $0.3?million loss in the third quarter of 2018 to a $0.9?million gain in the third quarter of 2019. This 2019 third-quarter gain was mainly due to a $0.8?million gain resulting from a decrease in the fair value of a contingent consideration payable, whereas the 2018 third-quarter loss was mainly due to $0.2?million in foreign exchange losses and to a $0.2?million loss resulting from a change in the fair value of financial instruments. For the nine-month periods, the “Other (gains) losses” item was a $1.7?million loss in 2019 compared to a $0.3?million loss in 2018.

Profit before income taxes stood at $21.2?million in the third quarter of 2019, down $2.4?million from $23.6?million in the third quarter of 2018. For the first nine months of 2019, profit before income taxes stood at $59.8?million, down $8.7?million from $68.5?million in the first nine months of 2018.

Income tax expense went from $5.3?million in the third quarter of 2018 to $5.6?million in the third quarter of 2019. At 26.5%, the 2019 third-quarter effective income tax rate was higher than the 22.6% rate in the same quarter of 2018. This higher effective tax rate mainly reflects an unfavourable impact of a revised estimate affecting the deductibility of certain expenses incurred in 2019. Income tax expense for the first nine months of 2019 stood at $15.2?million, down $1.4?million from $16.6?million in the first nine months of 2018.

The 2019 third-quarter profit totalled $15.6?million, down $2.7?million from $18.3?million in the third quarter of 2018. Excluding the favourable impact, net of tax, in 2018 of a reduction to customs duties paid in previous years, the 2019 third-quarter profit was down $0.8?million year over year. For the first nine months of 2019, profit totalled $44.6?million versus profit of $51.9?million in the first nine months of 2018.

Profit attributable to the Company’s shareholders was $15.3?million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $2.21 for the third quarter of 2019. In the third quarter of 2018, profit attributable to the Company’s shareholders had totalled $18.0?million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $2.57. Excluding a favourable impact, net of tax, in 2018 of a reduction to customs duties paid in previous years, the 2019 third-quarter profit attributable to the Company’s shareholders was down $0.8?million year over year. For the first nine months of 2019, profit attributable to the Company’s shareholders totalled $43.5?million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $6.27 and, in the same nine-month period of 2018, profit had totalled $50.6?million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $7.24.

The Company’s operating activities generated $34.1?million in cash during the third quarter of 2019, while they had generated $39.3?million in cash during the same quarter last year. Financing activities used $9.5?million in cash during the third quarter of 2019, while they had used $18.4?million in the same quarter of 2018. Investing activities used $17.7?million in cash during the third quarter of 2019 compared to $14.2?million used in the same quarter of 2018. At the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2019, the Company reported a cash and cash equivalents balance of $1.1?million and a bank overdraft of $1.8?million, whereas, at the end of the third quarter of 2018, the cash and cash equivalents balance was $0.3?million and the bank overdraft balance was $8.4?million.

 

Outlook

The Company notes that industry sales volumes in the U.S. and Canadian fruit juice and drinks markets were down for the twelve-month period ended September 28, 2019. The Company’s sales were up 1.0% in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year. Barring any significant external shocks (and excluding foreign exchange impacts and the impact of the acquisition of Old Orchard Brands, LLC to maintain a comparable basis), the Company expects that, for 2019, it will be able to achieve a consolidated annual sales growth rate slightly above that of 2018.

The selling price increases in the U.S. market have continued to gradually take effect in the third quarter of 2019, but increases in costs have outpaced the price increases. The Company remains cautious in a U.S. competitive environment that has become particularly challenging. In Canada, the Company believes that investment-related work could still adversely affect the rate of production at one of its plants in the last quarter of 2019.

 

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

In this document and in other documents filed with Canadian regulatory authorities or in other communications, the Company may from time to time make written or oral forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements notably include estimates, expectations, forecasts, and projections of future investment spending, revenues, expenses, earnings, profit, indebtedness, financial position, losses, upcoming projects, business and management strategies, and business growth and expansion. In the context of this document, forward-looking statements are particularly used to discuss preliminary results, the rate of sales growth, and profit attributable to shareholders. The forward-looking statements contained herein are used to help readers better understand Lassonde’s financial position and the results of its operations as at the dates presented and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements can be recognized by such words as “may,” “should,” “believes,” “predicts,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “projects,” “objective,” “continues,” “proposes,” “targets,” or “aims” as well as words and expressions of a similar nature and whether they are used in the affirmative or negative or used in the conditional or future tense. Forward-looking statements also include any statements that do not refer to historical facts.

By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific in nature. It is therefore possible that the forecasts, projections and other statements will not be achieved or will differ significantly from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements or could affect the extent to which a particular forecast, projection or other statement materializes. Although Lassonde believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurances that these expectations will prove to be correct.

Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements when making decisions, as the actual results could differ considerably from the opinions, plans, objectives, expectations, forecasts, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements due to various significant factors. Such factors include, among others, the economic, industrial, competitive and regulatory environment in which Lassonde operates or factors that are likely to have an impact on its operations, its ability to attract and retain customers, consumers, and qualified staff, the availability and cost of raw materials and transportation, its operating costs, and the price of its finished products in the various markets where it operates.

The Company cautions that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. For additional information about the risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that could cause Lassonde’s actual results to differ from its stated expectations, readers may also consult the “Uncertainties and Principal Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent annual MD&A and the other documents it files from time to time with securities regulators in Canada and available on www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect the Company’s expectations on this date and are subject to change after this date. Lassonde does not undertake to update publicly or to revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable legislation or regulation.

 

SEDAR registration number: 00002099