Maple Leaf Foods reported its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2019.
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Sales in the first quarter increased 11.0% to $907.1 million, including acquisitions.
Sales growth in the core business of 1.4% was driven primarily by pricing actions, taken in the fourth quarter of 2018 to mitigate inflationary pressures, and favourable mix due to food renovation.
Continued expansion of sustainable meats and plant-based protein also contributed to growth in sales.
Adjusted Operating Earnings were $42.1 million compared to $52.8 million in the first quarter of 2018.
Solid commercial performance was driven primarily by pricing actions taken in the prior quarter, improved sales mix from the Company's food renovation initiatives, lower input costs for prepared meats, and growth in value-added fresh pork and poultry.
These improvements were more than offset by adverse fresh market conditions and the impact of growth initiatives.
Growth initiatives in the quarter included investments in plant-based protein to support the brands, start-up costs related to capacity expansion in protein kits and meat pies and the short-term dilutive impact of 2018 acquisitions.
Net earnings for the first quarter were $50.1 million ($0.41 per basic share) compared to $27.9 million ($0.22 per basic share) in the first quarter of 2018.
The increase in net earnings was consistent with factors noted above.
In addition, net earnings were positively impacted by changes in fair value of biological assets and unrealized gains on derivative contracts, which are excluded in calculating Adjusted Operating Earnings.
Maple Leaf Foods announced that it has closed a $2 billion funding arrangement with its existing banking syndicate. The new credit facility consists of an unsecured committed revolving line of credit and two unsecured committed term facilities. ■
Residents in coastal North Carolina and Virginia braced for potential flooding after Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall near a North Carolina barrier island on Saturday morning, bringing rain, damaging winds and dangerous surges of water.