SunOpta earnings fall sharply in quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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TORONTO — Net earnings at SunOpta, Inc. fell to $3,366,000 in the third quarter ended Oct. 1, equal to 5c per share on the common stock, down sharply from $34,067,000, or 53c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased 25% to $272,420,000 from $217,487,000. Within the company’s Grains and Foods Group, segment operating income in the third quarter was $4,394,000, down 57% from $10,257,000 in the same period a year ago. Total revenues for the segment fell 38% to $121,596,000. SunOpta said results were affected adversely by commodity market pressures in the sunflower segment. Despite the sluggish results, Steve Bromley, president and chief executive officer, said SunOpta remains confident in its strategy and is encouraged by new initiatives and opportunities in the pipeline. “We are focused on expanding our business in fast growing healthy foods categories while at the same time improving operating margins and returns on assets employed,” he said.

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