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Maple Leaf Foods plots recovery in second half of 2021 after a plunge in Q2 profit


MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods. Inc. says it expects its meat protein business margins and plant-based foods revenue growth to make a full recovery in the second half of 2021 as it reported a plunge in its second quarter net profit. 

The Ontario-based food processing company said Thursday it earned $8.8 million in its latest quarter, down nearly 66 per cent from $25.7 million a year earlier, despite a six per cent growth in revenues. That amounted to seven cents per share, down from 21 cents per share in the second quarter of 2020.

Maple Leaf Foods president and CEO Michael McCain said the company anticipated headwinds in its second quarter. 

But he said the company has remained focused on sustainable, long-term growth and is on track to improve its meat margins and grow its plant protein sales. 

"There's too much short-termism in the marketplace today and we're looking beyond that," McCain told analysts during a conference call. "We continue to advance our vision to become the most sustainable protein company on earth and continue building long-term value."

Adjusted profits fell 20 per cent to 28 cents per share from 35 cents per share in the prior year quarter.

Revenues for the three months ended June 30 were $1.16 billion, up from $1.09 billion in the 2020 quarter.

Meat protein sales increased 7.4 per cent to $1.12 billion while plant protein sales declined 21 per cent to $48.1 million after experiencing a surge in demand a year ago due to COVID-19.

Analysts on average expected Maple Leaf would report 25 cents per share in adjusted earnings on $1.15 billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

"As we anticipated, our second quarter faced material market headwinds and a difficult year-over-year comparable quarter due to COVID-19 effects, and yet our business delivered excellent results" stated McCain.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:MFI)

The Canadian Press

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