TORONTO — Weak consumer demand for bread and a sluggish pork market contributed to a 24% decline in earnings at Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. during the third quarter.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company had earnings of C$32,581,000 ($32,546,101), equal to C$0.22 per share on the common stock, which compared with earnings of C$43,007,000, or C$0.29 per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were C$1,238,929,000 ($1,237,601,935), up 2% from C$1,262,153,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.
Adjusted operating earnings rose 4% to C$76,331,000 ($76,251,663), equal to C$0.29 per share, compared with C$73,347,000, or C$0.34 per share, during the same quarter of the previous year.
“Our third quarter marked a return to operating profit growth in 2012 as we continue to enhance performance in our base business and execute our value creation strategies,” said Michael H. McCain, president and chief executive officer. “We are achieving earnings growth in our consumer facing prepared meats and bakery businesses, and managing higher input costs through responsible pricing. While the challenges of consumer bread demand and pork market conditions continue, we are seeing signs of improvement in both.”
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, earnings increased 16% to C$65,870,000, or C$0.44 per share, which compared with C$78,136,000, or C$0.53 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were C$3,660,002,000, up slightly from C$3,648,296,000 during the same period of the previous year.