Net earnings for Maple Leaf Foods declined nearly 10 percent during the 2017 fiscal year, while the net earnings for the fourth quarter were down by 22.5 percent.
The Canadian meat, poultry and plant-based protein company on February 21 announced the results for both periods. The Maple Leaf Foods fiscal year coincided with the calendar year.
Net earnings for the full year declined from CA$76.2 million (US$60.3 million) in 2016 to CA$59.1 million (US$46.8 million) in 2017. Fourth quarter net earnings declined on a year-over-year basis from CA$181.7 million (US$143.9 million) in 2016 to CA$164.1 million (US$130 million) in 2017.
The company did improve its sales for both periods, but the bottom line was negatively affected by unrealized losses on derivative contracts, the change in fair value of biological assets and restructuring costs.
“We completed 2017 with another quarter of both top-line sales and margin growth which contributed to a highly successful year. Improvement with prepared meats, plus accelerating growth in the U.S. and plant protein, offset softening in pork processing, which continues to demonstrate the benefits of our balanced portfolio,” said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods.
“Looking forward, we are excited about the future. In our quest to be the most sustainable protein company on Earth, the coming year will mark the most ambitious brand renovation in our history We have great confidence our brand strategy will support continued growth for years to come.”
Acquisition is finalized
Maple Leaf Foods announced in 2017 its intent to acquire the outstanding shares of The Field Grain Roast Grain Meat Company, a U.S. based corporation involved in the production and distribution of plant-based protein and vegan cheese products. The acquisition was finalized in January 2018 and that transaction is expected to be reflected in Maple Leaf Foods’ financial reports for the first quarter of fiscal year 2018.