Maple Leaf Foods’ (MFI: TSX) annual investor conference in Toronto today featured a detailed review of the Company’s value creation plan by members of the Company’s senior management team.
Michael H. McCain, Maple Leaf Foods’ President and CEO, said, “Our goal today was to build a deeper understanding of the comprehensive plan we set out last month, a plan that we expect will deliver significant and sustainable value to our shareholders now and over the next five years. We are focused on implementing the plan, which will see us build strength and competitiveness in our business by simplifying products and product lines, increasing the scale of our manufacturing facilities, and investing in advanced technology.”
Maple Leaf Foods expects to increase EBITDA margins by more than 75% through implementing the plan, including a number of near-term initiatives to increase profitability.
In the third quarter of 2010, Maple Leaf Foods realized its sixth consecutive quarter of earnings growth, continued margin expansion in the protein segment, and double-digit earnings per share improvement compared to the same period in 2009.
Last week, Maple Leaf Foods announced the sale of its Ontario pork processing business for proceeds of approximately $20 million. This transaction completes the transformation of the Company’s protein operations to focus on its value-added meats and meals business. This week the Company also announced the decision to close its prepared meats facility in Nova Scotia, as part of the early stage consolidation of its network to build scale and reduce costs.
In addition to a presentation by Mr. McCain, the annual event featured presentations by Michael Vels, Chief Financial Officer; Gary Maksymetz, President Maple Leaf Consumer Foods; Rick Young, Executive Vice President, Transformation, Maple Leaf Consumer Foods; Barry McLean, President, Fresh Bakery; Richard Lan, Chief Operating Officer; and Stephen Graham, Maple Leaf Foods’ Chief Marketing Officer.
Copies of the presentations from today’s event are available at http://www.mapleleaf.ca/. A webcast will be uploaded onto the Company’s website within 24 hours. To access the webcast go to http://www.snwebcastcenter.com/custom_events/maple-leaf-20101118/site/
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 22,500 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2009.
This release contains, and remarks made by representatives of the Company in connection with this release, may contain forward-looking statements.
Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the Company’s strategies, plans, actions and expectations including expectations about future earnings, EBITDA margins, return on assets, capital expenditures, capital needs, balance sheet strength and other expected benefits of the plan. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “attempt,” “may,” “will,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate,” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict.
These statements are based on and were developed using a number of factors and assumptions including, but not limited to: stability in the Canadian, U.S., U.K. and Japanese economies; stability in prevailing exchange rates among the Canadian dollar, the U.S. dollar, the British pound and the Japanese yen; stability in the availability and pricing of raw materials, energy and supplies; the ability to implement price increases successfully; stability in the competitive environment; no future product recalls; the continued ability of the Company to access cost effective capital when needed; and no unexpected or unforeseen events occurring that would materially alter the Company’s current plans. All of these assumptions have been derived from information currently available to the Company including information obtained by the Company from third-party sources. These assumptions may prove to be incorrect in whole or in part. In addition, actual results may differ materially from those expressed, implied or forecasted in such forward looking statements, which reflect the Company’s expectations only as of the date hereof.
Factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from the results expressed, implied or forecasted by the forward-looking statements include risks associated with implementing and executing complex projects and plans; risks posed by food contamination, pandemics and product recalls; risks associated with the price of commodities and the inability of the Company to control commodity prices; risks associated with exchange rate fluctuations; risks associated with changing consumer tastes, preferences and buying patterns; and risks posed by competition. Additional factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from the results expressed, implied or forecasted by the forward-looking statements are discussed more fully in the Company’s filings made with the Canadian securities regulators including in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2009. All of such filings are available on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com/.
Some of the forward looking statements may be considered to be financial outlooks for purposes of applicable securities legislation including, but not limited to, statements concerning future EBITDA margins and capital expenditures. These financial outlooks are presented in order to provide measurable targets that the Company aims to achieve and for which the Company can use to benchmark the results of the plan. These financial outlooks may not be appropriate for other purposes and readers should not assume they will be achieved.
The Company does not intend to, and the Company disclaims any obligation to, update any forward-looking statements (including any financial outlooks), whether written or oral, or whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.