Maple Leaf: less jobs and higher prices

23-02-2007 | |

Maple Leaf Foods is warning of more job cuts and price rises for meat, animal feed and possibly bakery products to cover the increased cost of wheat and corn caused by the demand for ethanol.

The food processor announced yesterday a fourth-quarter loss of $11.6 million, from a year-ago profit of $18.2 million, after $44.9 million in restructuring charges and other costs.

Grain prices

The major exporter, already reeling from annual losses of about $100 million caused by the strong Canadian dollar, has been grappling with rising grain prices. These increase the price of meat production, making consumer price increases in bakery and meat products inevitable, CEO Michael McCain said.

The company has recently gone through a restructuring, including facility closures, and has streamlined its management, marketing and information technology structure to cut costs in a bid to cover the currency gap.

Way out

The company started off on a rough note in 2006, but has been steadily fighting its way out of the currency conversion ‘hole’ caused by a high Canadian dollar, McCain said.

Sales for the quarter were $1.5 billion. For the year, profit fell to $4.5 million, down from $94.2 million a year ago.

Related link:
• Maple Leaf Foods

For the latest pig news, subscribe here

More about