Maple Leaf reports positive sales uplift in Meat Products Group

By Chloe Ryan

- Last updated on GMT

Rising meat prices pushed up sales revenue
Rising meat prices pushed up sales revenue

Related tags: Meat, Maple leaf foods

Rising meat prices have helped drive a near 10% overall sales increase for Canadian food processor Maple Leaf Foods, which has reported significantly improved financial results for the first quarter of the year.

Sales were up 9.7% in the quarter to 31 March to $780.2m, driven by higher prices in the Meat Products Group, although this was partially offset by lower volumes.

Adjusted operating earnings for the quarter were back in the black at $10.4m, compared to a loss of $29.9m last year.

The company is still not making a profit, but net loss for the first quarter to 31 March was $2.8m, compared to a loss of $124.6m for the same period last year.

"We had a very strong quarter,"​ said Michael McCain, president and CEO, who has led a seven year turnaround programme involving overhauling the supply chain and closing some plants.

"We recorded a $40m improvement in our adjusted operating earnings year over year, restored our margins and made excellent progress in recovering our prepared meats volume from last year’s unprecedented environment.

"We were able to reduce our operating costs as we come to the final stage of our network transition, and today, with the last production run at our last legacy plant, we are bringing an end to our duplicative supply chain. Our final phase is to bring our new state of the art facilities to full operational effectiveness. All of this keeps us on track to reach our strategic financial target."

The Meat Products Group includes value-added prepared meats, lunch kits and snacks, and fresh pork and poultry products sold under Canadian brands such as Maple Leaf, Schneiders and many regional brands. 

Sales in the Meat Products Group for the first quarter increased 10.1% to $776.4m, or 8.8% after adjusting for the weaker Canadian dollar.

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