April 30, 2020


Canada-based Maple Leaf Foods expects increased demand for pork from Asia in second quarter


The company also reported 12.8% higher first-quarter sales as consumers stock up on food during the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Reuters.


The increased sales come as consumers rushed to stock up on essential supplies such as meat during imposed lockdowns due to COVID-19.


Maple Leaf reported a 1.02 billion CAD (~US$735 million; 1 CAD = US$0.74) increase in first-quarter sales from C$907.1 million (~US$653 million), but higher costs meant the company reported a loss.


The company's meat protein group unit sales were up 12.7% to C$981.4 million (~US$707 million) in the first quarter ended March 31, 2020. The unit sells value-added fresh pork and poultry products under Schneiders and Mina brands.


Maple Leaf said because of added labour, purchase of protective equipment for its workers, increased sanitation at its facilities and other COVID-19 related expenses, it will record more charges of up to C$20 million in the current quarter.


While the company projected a rise in its plant protein business, it expects its foodservice business to report losses during the pandemic.


-      Reuters