SunOpta reports Q4 loss, following job cuts announcement

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Related tags: Net loss, Organic food, Sunopta

Canadian natural and organics group SunOpta has reported a net loss in the fourth quarter on charges related to some of its assets and inventories.

For the quarter ended December 2011, the company reported a net loss of $4.2m, or $0.06 per share, for continuing operations, compared to a net loss of $2.6m, or $0.04 per share for the same period last year. However, revenues were up 12.1% during the quarter, from $230.6m to $258.5m.

President and CEO of SunOpta Steve Bromley said:"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.”

The results included a non-cash charge of about $8.7m, the company said, related to assets and inventory at its Purity Life Health Products and Frozen Foods operations.

Job cuts

The fourth quarter results come just weeks after the company announced its intention to restructure to cut costs in 2012, including laying off 6% of its workforce. SunOpta did not disclose the exact number of jobs that would be cut, but said the measure would save $3m a year before tax, although it expected the layoffs to cost about $500,000 in severance charges in the first year.

Bromley added:“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."

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