October 30, 2008

             

Maple Leaf Q3 results turn red on listeria contamination case
                     
 

Maple Leaf Foods has reported a third-quarter loss of US$12.9 million, after spending US$42.9 million in recall, restructuring and other costs related to the listeria contamination case in August.

 

The loss is in contrast with last year's profit of US$220.4 million, which included a US$218.7-million gain on discontinued operations.

 

Sales reached US$1.34 billion, up from US$1.3 billion a year ago.

 

Excluding the listeria case which killed 20 Canadians, Maple Leaf said it would have earned 13 cents per share, compared with 6 cents per share a year ago, thanks to "improved commodity markets, protein restructuring and price increase."

 

Maple Leaf said actions are underway to restore sales and volumes following the listeria case.

 

Maple Leaf plans to stabilise its business and continue to restore confidence by implementing an enhanced food safety programme for the rest of 2008, according to CEO Michael McCain.

 

The company's reorganisation of its meat operations include reducing fresh pork processing operations and focusing on higher-profit packaged meat and processed meals.