SunOpta Announces Second Quarter Fiscal 2021 Financial Results
August 11, 2021 at 07:30 AM EDT
Plant-Based revenue growth of 21.4%, driving 9.7% total Revenue growth
Loss from continuing operations was $0.9 million vs. loss of $5.1 million in PY
Adjusted EBITDA increased 60.8% to $16.1 million
SunOpta Inc. (“SunOpta” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading healthy food and beverage company focused on plant-based foods and beverages and fruit-based foods and beverages, today announced financial results for the second quarter ended July 3, 2021.
All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars and results are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, except where specifically noted.
Second Quarter 2021 Highlights:
“We delivered another strong performance; with second quarter Adjusted EBITDA increasing over 60% fueled by 21% revenue growth in plant-based. Strong execution of our strategies has resulted in EBITDA growth of over 50% in five of the last six quarters. Volume gains, mix, insulated contract pricing and our continued focus on productivity initiatives helped to drive a 40 basis point improvement in gross margin. This improvement overcame a volatile commodity environment, while also absorbing around 110 basis points of additional depreciation expense from capacity expansions and supply chain cost inflation. We continue to see strong flow-through with a 260 basis point increase in the Adjusted EBITDA margin,” said Joe Ennen, Chief Executive Officer. “In our plant-based business unit our three-pronged go-to-market strategy is amplifying our growth rate as we saw solid gains in each of co-manufacturing and own brand portfolio, more than offsetting retail private label declines from the COVID-19 rebalancing of demand. While plant-based remains our primary growth driver, we are encouraged by recent activity in our fruit snacks business, where demand has been very strong. We continue to be optimistic about the long-term momentum in plant-based as the strength of our platform continues to produce growth for existing customers as well as attracting new customers.” Ennen continued, “I am pleased to announce that we are in the final stages of negotiating a lease for the construction of a new mega facility in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. At 275,000 square feet in size, this greenfield facility is by far the largest capex project we have undertaken and will support significant long-term growth in our plant-based business. We expect the facility to be operational by late 2022.”
Second Quarter 2021 Results
Revenues of $202.3 million for the second quarter of 2021 were up 9.7% compared to the second quarter of 2020 as the 21.4% growth in Plant-Based Foods and Beverages was partially offset by a 1.9% decrease in Fruit-Based Foods and Beverages.
The Plant-Based Foods and Beverages segment generated revenues of $111.4 million during the second quarter of 2021, an increase of 21.4% compared to $91.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. Strong demand for our oat-based product offerings remained a key growth driver and we realized gains in foodservice reflecting the lifting of restrictions related to COVID-19. In addition, revenues from the recent acquisition of the Dream and WestSoy brands contributed $4.7 million to the second quarter. Partially offsetting these factors was normalization of at-home consumption, which resulted in anticipated softer retail volumes for plant-based beverages and everyday broth offerings.
The Fruit-Based Foods and Beverages segment generated revenues of $90.9 million during the second quarter of 2021, a decrease of 1.9% compared to $92.7 million in the second quarter of 2020. The decline was attributable to lower retail volumes in frozen fruit stemming from normalization of at-home consumption compared to elevated COVID-19 driven levels in the prior year, the planned rationalization of lower-margin SKUs and customers, and industry-wide raspberry and blackberry supply constraints. Rebounding demand and new customers drove strong volume growth in fruit snacks, which, along with rising foodservice demand, partially mitigated the declines in retail frozen fruit.
Gross profit was $26.3 million for the second quarter, an increase of $3.1 million compared to $23.3 million in the prior year period. As a percentage of revenues, gross profit margin was 13.0% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to 12.6% in the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 40 basis points. The Plant-Based Foods and Beverages segment accounted for $3.2 million of the increase in gross profit, reflecting higher volumes in plant-based beverages and ingredients plus contributions from Dream and WestSoy, partially offset by higher depreciation and transportation expenses. Gross profit in the Fruit-Based Foods and Beverages segment decreased by $0.1 million in the quarter as lower volumes of retail frozen fruit, higher strawberry prices, foreign exchange impacts and increased transportation costs were largely offset by fruit snack volume growth and corresponding plant utilization increases, volume growth of fruit-based toppings in advance of our Southgate processing facility closure, and productivity improvements.
Segment operating income¹ was $1.7 million, or 0.9% of revenues in the second quarter of 2021, compared to segment operating loss of ($0.4) million, or (0.2%) of revenues in the second quarter of 2020. The increase in operating income year-over-year was primarily attributable to higher gross profit partially offset by an increase in SG&A stemming from transition and integration costs related to the acquisition of Dream and WestSoy.
Adjusted EBITDA¹ was $16.1 million or 8.0% of revenues in the second quarter of 2021, compared to $10.0 million or 5.4% of revenues in the second quarter of 2020.
Loss from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders for the second quarter of 2021 was $1.7 million, or $0.02 per diluted common share, compared to a loss of $7.7 million, or $0.09 per diluted common share during the second quarter of 2020. The loss from continuing operations in the second quarter included other expenses of $4.1 million related to the Company’s decision to exit its fruit ingredient processing facility and transition certain production to other facilities.
Adjusted earnings¹ in the second quarter of 2021 was $0.1 million or $0.00 per common share, compared to an adjusted loss of ($7.9) million or ($0.09) per common share in the second quarter of 2020.
Please refer to the discussion and table below under “Non-GAAP Measures”.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
At July 3, 2021, SunOpta had total assets of $742.2 million and total debt of $206.2 million compared to total assets of $909.4 million and total debt of $448.9 million a year earlier, primarily reflecting the sale of the Global Ingredients business and improved operating performance. During the second quarter of 2021, cash used in operating activities was $39.1 million from continuing operations compared to cash provided by operating activities of $0.5 million during the second quarter of 2020, primarily reflecting increased inventories due to seasonal fruit purchases, replenishing a shortfall in frozen strawberry supply in 2020 related to COVID-19-driven demand for fresh fruit, together with the impacts of higher commodity prices and lower retail sales demand for frozen fruit in 2021. Investing activities from continuing operations utilized $32.4 million of cash during the second quarter of 2021 versus $5.9 million in the prior year, primarily due to the acquisition of Dream and WestSoy and significant investments to support continued strong growth in Plant-Based Foods and Beverages.
SunOpta plans to host a conference call at 9:00 A.M. Eastern time on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, to discuss the second quarter financial results. After opening remarks, there will be a question and answer period. Investors interested in listening to the live webcast can access a link on SunOpta's website at www.sunopta.com under the "Investor Relations" section or directly here. A replay of the webcast will be archived and can be accessed for approximately 90 days on the Company's website. Investors interested in listening to the live call over the telephone can join by calling US: 833-513-0545, or International: 1-778-560-2569 conference ID: 1078636.
¹ See discussion of non-GAAP measures
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is a leading company specializing in the sourcing, processing and production of organic, natural and non-GMO plant- and fruit-based food and beverage products.
Certain statements included in this press release may be considered "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our continued optimism about the long-term momentum in plant-based as the strength of our platform and that it will continue to produce customer growth and our expectation that recent investments will continue to support strong growth in plant-based. Generally, forward-looking statements do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and are typically accompanied by words such as “continue”, “expect”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimates”, “can”, “will”, “target”, "should", "would", "plans", "becoming", "intend", "confident", "may", "project", "potential", "intention", "might", "predict", “budget”, “forecast” or other similar terms and phrases intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on information available to the Company on the date of this release and are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments including, but not limited to, the Company’s actual financial results; uninterrupted operations and service levels to our customers during COVID-19; current customer demand for the Company’s products and the additional anticipated demand due to COVID-19; general economic conditions; continued consumer interest in health and wellness; the Company’s ability to maintain product pricing levels; planned facility and operational expansions, closures and divestitures; cost rationalization and product development initiatives; alternative potential uses for the Company’s capital resources; portfolio optimization and productivity efforts; the sustainability of the Company’s sales pipeline; the Company’s expectations regarding commodity pricing, margins and hedging results; improved availability and field prices for fruit; procurement and logistics savings; freight lane cost reductions; yield and throughput enhancements; and labor cost reductions. Whether actual timing and results will agree with expectations and predictions of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, potential loss of suppliers and customers as well as supply chain, logistics and other disruptions resulting from or related to COVID-19; unexpected issues or delays with the Company’s structural improvements and automation investments; failure or inability to implement portfolio changes, process improvements, go-to-market improvements and process sustainability strategies in a timely manner; changes in the level of capital investment; local and global political and economic conditions; consumer spending patterns and changes in market trends; decreases in customer demand; delayed or unsuccessful product development efforts; potential product recalls; working capital management; availability and pricing of raw materials and supplies; potential covenant breaches under the Company’s credit facilities; and other risks described from time to time under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (available at www.sec.gov). Consequently, all forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly correct or update the forward-looking statements in this document, in other documents, or on its website to reflect future events or circumstances, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.
In addition to reporting financial results in accordance with U.S. GAAP, the Company provides additional information about its operating results regarding segment operating income, adjusted earnings and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”), which are not measures in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The Company believes that segment operating income, adjusted earnings and adjusted EBITDA assist investors in comparing performance across reporting periods on a consistent basis by excluding items that are not indicative of its operating performance. The non-GAAP measures of segment operating income, adjusted earnings and adjusted EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for performance measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
In order to evaluate its results of operations, the Company uses certain other non-GAAP measures that it believes enhance an investor’s ability to derive meaningful period-over-period comparisons and trends from the results of operations. In particular, the Company evaluates its revenues on a basis that excludes the effects of fluctuations in commodity pricing and the impacts of acquisitions and divestitures. In addition, the Company excludes specific items from its reported results that due to their nature or size, it does not expect to occur as part of its normal business on a regular basis. These items are identified in the tables below. These non-GAAP measures are presented solely to allow investors to more fully assess the Company’s results of operations and should not be considered in isolation of, or as substitutes for an analysis of the Company’s results as reported under U.S. GAAP.
When assessing its financial performance, the Company uses an internal measure that excludes charges and gains that it believes are not reflective of normal operations. This information is provided to allow investors to make meaningful comparisons of the Company’s operating performance between periods and to view the Company’s business from the same perspective as the Company’s management. Adjusted earnings/loss and adjusted earnings/loss per diluted share should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for performance measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
The following is a tabular presentation of adjusted earnings/loss and adjusted earnings/loss per diluted share, including a reconciliation from earnings/loss from continuing operations, which the Company believes to be the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure.
Segment Operating Income/Loss and Adjusted EBITDA
The Company defines segment operating income/loss as net earnings/loss before income taxes, interest expense and other income/expense items, and adjusted EBITDA as segment operating income/loss plus depreciation, amortization, non-cash stock-based compensation, and other unusual items that affect the comparability of operating performance as identified above in the determination of adjusted earnings/loss. The following is a tabular presentation of segment operating income/loss and adjusted EBITDA, including a reconciliation to earnings/loss from continuing operations, which the Company believes to be the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure.