Financial Results for the 2000 Fiscal Year.
NET EARNINGS UP 27% AND CASH FLOW UP 37%.
(Montréal, Québec - June 8, 2000 /CNW) - Saputo Group Inc. today announced its financial results for the year ended March 31, 2000 which proved to be a year of growth for the Company.
Net Earnings Up 27%
Year-end net earnings for fiscal 2000 totalled $100.1 million, or $2.00 per share ($1.89 diluted), a 27% increase over the $79.1 million posted for the 1999 fiscal year. This increase in net earnings reflects the successful integration completed in our American activities and the overall efficiency achieved throughout the Company.
Ebita Up 24%
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached $236.9 million for the 2000 fiscal year, an increase of 24% over the $191.1 million recorded in 1999. Slightly less than half of that increase came from the acquisition of Culinar Inc. in September 1999.
Cash Flow Up 37%
Net cash flow generated by operations before changes in non-cash working capital items increased by $47.7 million and amounted to $176 million, or $3.52 per share, in fiscal 2000, compared to $128.3 million, or $2.64 per share, in the last fiscal year.
Saputo's revenues for the year ended March 31, 2000 amounted to $1.861 billion, compared with $1.916 billion in fiscal 1999. With 64% of the company's sales coming from the United States, two main factors affected the final revenue figure: the conversion of US sales into Canadian dollars and the fluctuation of the average selling price of cheese in the American market. These factors had a combined negative effect of $175 million on our revenues, compared to the previous fiscal year.
The Board of Directors of the Company today declared a dividend of $0.06 per common share to be paid on July 7, 2000 to holders of record on June 23, 2000. The dividend relates to the fourth quarter beginning January 1, 2000 and ended March 31, 2000.
Saputo Group Inc. is a North American manufacturer of dairy and grocery products. From its dairy processing operations, Saputo manufactures predominantly mozzarella, with expertise extending to other Italian cheeses, European cheeses and North American cheeses, as well as value-added whey by-products such as lactose and whey protein. The Dairy Products sector's leading brands are Saputo, Stella, Frigo, Dragone, Caron and Cayer. In Canada, Saputo also operates a distribution network through which the Company markets a broad assortment of imported cheeses and non-dairy products to complement its cheese offerings. Through its Grocery Products sector, Saputo produces and distributes snack cakes, cookies, fine breads and soups, under recognized brand names such as Vachon, Viau-McCormicks, Grissol and Loney's.
Saputo employs close to 5,400 people. Within the Dairy Products sector, it operates 17 plants in the United States, as well as 11 plants and a network of 17 distribution centers in Canada. In the Grocery Products sector, Saputo operates five plants in Canada and a direct store delivery network of 53 warehouses and five distribution centers. The Company's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SAP.
For further information: Lynda Leith
Communication and Investor Relations