Write-down charge weighs on SunOpta income

by Allison Gibeson
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TORONTO — A write-down charge and a difficult commodity environment helped contribute to a 91% reduction in earnings for SunOpta, Inc. during 2011.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, the company had earnings of $5,296,000, equal to 8c per share on the common stock, which compared with earnings of $61,066,000, or 94c per share, during fiscal 2010. Revenue for the year was $1,082,076,000, up 21% from $898,309,000 during the previous year.

“Our results from continuing operations reflect continued growth in the core natural and organic foods categories within which we operate, and also reflect the impact of the difficult commodity environment over the course of this past year,” said Steve Bromley, president and chief executive officer. “We have recently undertaken to streamline our operations and organization structure, addressing underperforming food based operations and targeting improved earnings predictability and return on assets. We continue to be confident in our strategy and are encouraged by the number of new initiatives and opportunities we have in the pipeline. We believe we are well positioned in the natural and organic foods sector and are confident in our future prospects.”

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the company suffered a loss of $7,552,000, which compared with income of $1,920,000, or 4c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Revenue for the quarter was $258,514,000, up 12% from $230,582,000.

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