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Lassonde Industries Inc. announces its Q3 2012 results

ROUGEMONT, QC, Nov. 9, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Lassonde Industries Inc. (TSX: LAS.A) (Lassonde) posted sales of $255.1 million in the third quarter of 2012, a 21.0% increase year over year. Profit attributable to the Company's shareholders for this period totalled $10.3 million, up $2.1 million from the third quarter of 2011.

Financial highlights
(in thousands of dollars)
Third quarters ended
  September 29,
October 1,
Sales $  255,084 $  210,822
Operating Profit 22,572 13,758
Profit before income taxes 14,391 10,631
Profit attributable to the Company's shareholders 10,315 8,173
Basic and diluted earnings per share (in $) $ 1.48 $ 1.20

Note: These are financial highlights only. Management's Discussion and Analysis, the unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and notes thereto for the quarter ended September 29, 2012 will be available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com and on the website of Lassonde Industries Inc.

"The third quarter 2012 results reflect markets that continue to be affected by high raw material costs. The Clement Pappas acquisition has helped us sustain our growth but lower volumes are being experienced by the fruit juice and fruit drink industry in both Canada and the U.S.," said Pierre-Paul Lassonde, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lassonde Industries Inc.

Financial results
The Company's sales totalled $255.1 million in the third quarter of 2012, up $44.3 million or 21.0% from $210.8 million in the same period of 2011. Sales from Clement Pappas and Company, Inc. (CPC) stood at $108.6 million in the third quarter of 2012. CPC's sales had reached $63.6 million for the period of August 13, 2011 (the date when CPC began operating under the Company's control) to October 1, 2011. Excluding CPC's sales, the Company's third-quarter sales decreased $0.7 million year over year as a result of lower sales volumes in private labels. Sales of national brand products remained unchanged as the impact of a favourable sales mix was offset by higher trade spending. For the first nine months of 2012, sales totalled $744.9 million, up 51.8% from $490.7 million in the first nine months of 2011.

The Company's operating profit for the third quarter of 2012 stood at $22.6 million, up $8.8 million from operating profit of $13.8 million in the same quarter last year. CPC's operating profit was $10.1 million during the quarter ended September 29, 2012. For the period of August 13, 2011 to October 1, 2011, CPC had operating profit of $1.0 million, but this amount included $6.8 million in acquisition-related costs. Excluding the impact of the CPC acquisition, third-quarter operating profit was down $0.3 million year over year mainly due to lower sales. Operating profit for the first nine months of 2012 stood at $56.4 million, up $21.0 million from $35.4 million at the end of the first nine months of 2011.

The Company's financial expenses went from $3.8 million in the third quarter of 2011 to $7.0 million this quarter. This increase was mostly attributable to the interest expense on the total debt incurred to effect the CPC acquisition. "Other (gains) losses" went from a $0.7 million gain in the third quarter of 2011 to a $1.2 million loss in the third quarter of 2012. The 2012 third-quarter loss was primarily due to a $0.9 million loss from a change in the fair value of interest rate swaps and to a $0.3 million foreign exchange loss. The 2011 gain was essentially due to a change in the conversion rate applicable to a US$70 million bank balance held to effect the CPC acquisition. For the first nine months, financial expenses went from $6.0 million in 2011 to $17.4 million this fiscal year, and "Other (gains) losses" was a $3.0 million loss in 2012 compared to a $0.2 million loss in 2011.

Profit before income taxes totalled $14.4 million for the third quarter of 2012, up $3.8 million from $10.6 million in the same quarter last year. For the first nine months of 2012, profit before income taxes stood at $36.0 million, up 23.6% from $29.1 million in the first nine months of 2011.

An income tax expense at an effective rate of 26.5% (25.2% in 2011) brought the 2012 third-quarter profit to $10.6 million, up $2.6 million from $8.0 million in the same quarter of 2011. Profit attributable to the Company's shareholders was $10.3 million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $1.48 for the third quarter of 2012. This amount includes the allocation of a portion of CPC's profit to a non-controlling interest. In the third quarter of 2011, profit attributable to the Company's shareholders had totalled $8.2 million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $1.20. For the first nine months of 2012, profit attributable to the Company's shareholders totalled $26.4 million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $3.78 and, in the same nine-month period of 2011, profit had totalled $21.3 million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $3.21.

Cash flows from operating activities generated $16.7  million during the third quarter of 2012, while they had generated $23.4 million during the same period last year. In the third quarters of 2012 and 2011, CPC's operating activities generated $3.2 million and $1.5 million, respectively, leaving a difference of $8.4 million on a comparative basis with Canadian operations. Financing activities used $5.4 million in cash in the third quarter of 2012 while they had generated cash flows of $307.4 million in the same period last year. During the third quarter of 2012, CPC's financing activities used $2.7 million in cash but had generated $260.9 million during the third quarter of 2011, leaving a difference of $49.2 million on a comparative basis with Canadian operations, almost entirely attributable to the funds raised for the CPC acquisition. Investing activities used $5.1 million in cash during the third quarter of 2012, while they had used $398.9 million during the same quarter last year. During the third quarters of 2012 and 2011, CPC used $1.7 million and $393.4 million, respectively, in cash flows, leaving a difference of $2.1 million on a comparative basis with Canadian operations. At the end of the third quarter of 2012, cash and cash equivalents totalled $7.1 million compared to a bank overdraft of $9.2 million at the end of the third quarter of 2011.

During the third quarter of 2012, the Company noted that sales volumes of fruit juice and fruit drink producers in North America remained lower than in prior years. In the Canadian market, the Company is also seeing an increase in trade spending driven by intense competition.

Fiscal 2012 will include an entire year of CPC's financial results. To better understand the impact of this acquisition, it is important to note that CPC recorded, for the 12 months ended October 1, 2011, sales of approximately US$400 million and adjusted EBITDA of approximately US$58 million. The Company believes that CPC's 2012 sales will be slightly higher when compared to the twelve-month period ended October 1, 2011 while its EBITDA may decline between US$4-to-6 million. For its Canadian entities, Lassonde Industries Inc. anticipates slightly higher sales than those of 2011.

For 2012, the Company is maintaining its focus on integrating CPC and therefore does not plan on making major changes to its business model.

About Lassonde Industries Inc.
Lassonde Industries Inc. is a North American leader in the development, manufacture and sale of a wide range of fruit and vegetable juices and drinks marketed under brands such as Everfresh, Fairlee, Flavür, Fruité, Graves, Oasis and Rougemont.

Lassonde is also the second largest producer of store brand ready-to-drink fruit juices and drinks in the United States and a major producer of cranberry juices, drinks and sauces.

Lassonde also develops, manufactures and markets specialty food products under brands such as Antico and Canton. The Company imports and markets selected wines from various countries and manufactures apple ciders and wine-based beverages.

The Company produces superior quality products through the efforts of some 2,000 people working in 14 plants across Canada and the United States. To learn more, visit www.lassonde.com.

SEDAR registration number: 00002099

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on certain assumptions. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. Additional factors are discussed in materials filed from time to time with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada. Lassonde Industries Inc. disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements except as required by law. 




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