Maple Leaf Foods reported significant improvement in net earnings, both for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016 and the full year.

The Canadian company's net earnings for the fourth quarter, which ended December 31, were CA$76.2 million (US$51.9 million), up from the CA$33.3 million (US$2.53 million) reported for the same quarter of fiscal year 2015. For the full year, net earnings were CA$181.7 million (US$138.1 million), up from the FY 2015 net earnings of CA$41.6 million (US$31.6 million).

Fiscal year 2015 had one more week than FY 2016.

“We finished 2016 with a strong quarter sustained by solid commercial performance,” said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. “With the combination of our increasingly competitive cost structure, and commercial strategies that intersect with important consumer needs and trends, we are well-positioned for future profitable growth.”

Sales in FY 2016

The net earnings increases were made despite declining sales in the fourth quarter for Maple Leaf Foods.

Sales for the fourth quarter declined by 5.1 percent, but sales for the fiscal year were up about 2 percent.

By segment, sales for the Meat Products Group were down 5.1 percent for the quarter and up 2 percent for the fiscal year. The meat products group includes value-added prepared meats, lunch kits and snacks, and value-added fresh pork and poultry products.

The Agribusiness Group, which includes Canadian hog production operations that primarily supply the Meat Products Group, saw sales in the fourth quarter drop from CA$4.6 million (US$3.5 million) to CA$3.7 million (US$2.8 million), while yearly sales dropped from CA$15.9 million (US$12.1 million) to CA$15.3 million (US$11.6 million). The declining sales were a result of lower prices for toll feed and also the additional week in FY 2015.