MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods Inc. said it lost $53.7 million in its most recent quarter as it grappled with inflation and other market headwinds.
The Mississauga, Ont.- based food company’s net loss for the second quarter amounted to 44 cents per basic share compared with a net loss of $54.6 million or 44 cents per basic share a year earlier.
Adjusted operating earnings for the period ended June 30 were $45.9 million compared with $23.6 million in the second quarter of last year.
Higher interest expenses also weighed on Maple Leaf’s earnings, the company said, as rates increased and it spend more on strategic capital expenditures.
Sales in the quarter totalled $1.26 billion, up from $1.19 billion a year prior. Higher volumes and prices helped boost sales in the second quarter, the company said.
Its meat business alone contributed the bulk of those sales, though gross profit for meat protein was slimmer due to headwinds in the pork market and higher costs, partially offset by higher prices.
The company expects mid-to-high single-digit sales growth for meat protein products in 2023, helped by growth in the U.S. market and sustainable meat.
Meanwhile, Maple Leaf said its plant protein division made $36.7 million in sales during the quarter, down from $40.8 million last year. The division saw lower sales volumes that were partially offset by pricing action in earlier quarters to mitigate inflation, the company said.
The company announced in late 2021 that it was launching a comprehensive review of its strategy for the plant protein division after seeing a slowdown in growth rates for the category. It found that the very high growth rates for plant protein products predicted by many industry experts likely won’t come to pass, Maple Leaf said.
It now expects more modest growth for plant protein, with a new goal to deliver neutral or better adjusted earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization in the second half of 2023.
The financial results come a day after the company’s board approved a quarterly dividend of 21 cents per share and 84 cents per share on an annual basis.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 3, 2023.
Companies in this story: (TSX:MFI)