Rogers Sugar Inc.: 4th Quarter 2020 Results

Rogers Sugar Inc.: 4th Quarter 2020 Results

GlobeNewswire

Published

· *ADJUSTED EBITA OF $92.3 MILLION FOR FISCAL 2020 – 5% INCREASE OVER PRIOR YEAR*
· *SUGAR REVENUES HIGHER DUE TO RECORD BREAKING SALES VOLUMES IN THE FOURTH QUARTER ACROSS ALL MARKET SEGMENTS*
· *STRONG SALES VOLUME IN MAPLE DRIVING HIGHER REVENUE FOR THE QUARTER AND THE YEAR*

MONTREAL, Nov. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rogers Sugar Inc.’s (the “Company” or “Rogers”) (TSX: RSI) today reported fourth quarter and year-to-date fiscal 2020 results. The Company recorded adjusted EBITDA ^(1) of $31.2 million and $92.3 million for fourth quarter and fiscal 2020, respectively, versus $22.2 million and $87.8 million for the comparable periods last year.

"Our strong fiscal 2020 performance is a direct result of the efforts of our agile committed team and our long-term strategic vision to continue to build a resilient, successful company,” said John Holliday, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers and Lantic Inc. "During the year, we generated higher revenue, improved margins, and increased free cash flow, all while dealing with the impacts of a global pandemic, a severely curtailed beet harvest and rail blockades. During this time, the safety of our people has remained our top priority and by implementing thorough safety practices and protocols, our operations have continued to perform at full capacity. In addition, we successfully restructured our supply chain to ensure our customers’ needs were met while also completing our capital improvement projects that will drive long-term efficiency and cost improvements. Looking forward to fiscal 2021, we expect that our strong performance will continue due to the continued firm demand from our customers and to a reduction in operational and distribution costs mostly related to the return of a normal harvest and beet sugar production in Taber."

*Update on COVID-19*

In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus, known as COVID-19 was identified. As of March 20, 2020, COVID-19 had spread to over 100 countries and been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted financial markets and supply chain, significantly restricted business travel and interrupted business activity. 

Our business is considered essential services by the government and as such, the Company’s plants have continued to operate at usual capacity. The Company has established extensive protection measures and protocols to ensure the health and safety of its employees. COVID-19 could have a material effect on our business as it relates to customer demand, supply and delivery chain, operations, financial market volatility, pension and benefits liabilities and other economic fundamentals.

The effect of COVID-19 on our business may continue for an extended period and the ultimate impact on the Company will depend on future developments that are uncertain and cannot be predicted, including and without limitations, the duration and severity of the pandemic, the duration of the government support measures, the effectiveness of the actions taken to contain and treat the disease, and the length of time it takes for normal economic and operating conditions to resume.

*Fourth Quarter Highlights*

Highlights of the consolidated results are as follows:

(unaudited) *Fourth Quarter**
*   * **Fiscal Year**
*  
(In thousands of dollars, except volume and per share information) *      2020* * * 2019   *      2020*   2019  
Sugar (metric tonnes) *225,396* * * 196,903   *761,055*   741,144  
Maple syrup (‘000 pounds) *13,181* * * 10,163   *53,180*   42,377   * *       * *         *$*   $   *$**
*   $  
Total revenues *246,212*   207,572   *860,801*   794,292  
Gross margin *37,890* * * 29,073   *126,199*   122,575  
Results from operating activities *22,829* * * (32,800 ) *68,010*   24,147  
Net (loss) earnings *12,952*   (40,021 ) *35,419*   (8,167 )
Net (loss) earnings per share (basic) *0.13*   (0.38 ) *0.34*   (0.08 )
Net (loss) earnings per share (diluted) *0.12*   (0.38 ) *0.34*   (0.08 )
Dividends per share *0.09*   0.09   *0.36*   0.36  
Non- IFRS results ^(1) * *       * *        
Adjusted Gross Margin ^(1) *40,065*   29,026   *126,118*   116,578  
Adjusted results from operating activities ^(1) *25,004*   17,153   *67,929*   68,150  
Adjusted EBITDA ^(1) *31,231*   22,215   *92,259*   87,808  
Adjusted net earnings ^(1) *14,551*   9,910   *35,245*   37,079  
Adjusted net earnings per share (basic) ^(1) *0.14*   0.09   *0.34*   0.35  
Trailing twelve months free cash flow ^(1) *40,001*   30,843   *40,001*   30,843  
^(1) See “Non-GAAP Measures” section of the MD&A for definition and reconciliation to GAAP measures*
*

· Adjusted EBITDA of $92.3 million and free cash flow of $40.0 million were better than 2019 by $4.5 million and $9.2 million respectively;· Record sales volume for sugar in the fourth quarter of 2020 at 225,396 metric tonnes, representing a normalized increase of 7.3% when considering the extra week of production of the current quarter;· Lower adjusted EBITDA in Maple despite higher customer demand caused by continuous market competition pressuring margins· For the year, the Company incurred unforeseen expenses amounting to $3.4 million in relation with COVID-19. These costs were largely due to increased health and safety measures and premium pay for employees;· During the year, RSI purchase and cancelled 1,377,394 shares for a total cash consideration of $6,5 million· In fiscal 2020, RSI distributed $0.36 per share to its shareholders for a total amount of $37.4 million; and· On November 25, 2020, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.09.

Please refer to the MD&A for additional details on the consolidated results of the Company. 

*Segmented Information*

The following is a table showing the key results by segments:

*Consolidated results*
(In thousands of dollars) Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2020     Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2019
* * * Sugar* * * *Maple Products* * * *Total*   * * Sugar   Maple
Products     Total  
Revenues *$* *188,666* *$* *57,546* *$* *246,212*   $ 159,432 $ 48,140   $ 207,572  
Gross margin * * *32,198* * * *5,692* * * *37,890*     24,643   4,430     29,073  
Administration and selling expenses * * *7,803* * * *2,589* * * *10,392*     4,730   2,622     7,352  
Distribution costs * * *4,197* * * *472* * * *4,669*     3,465   1,056     4,521  
Goodwill impairment * * *-* * * *-* * * *-*     -   50,000     50,000  
Results from operating activities (EBIT) *$* *20,198* *$* *2,631* *$* *22,829*   $ 16,448 $ (49,248 ) $ (32,800 )
Non- GAAP results ^(1) * * * * * * * * * * * *              
Adjusted Gross Margin ^(1) *$* *35,503* *$* *4,562* *$* *40,065*   $ 24,358 $ 4,668   $ 29,026  
Adjusted results from operating activities (Adjusted EBIT) ^(1) *$* *23,503* *$* *1,501* *$* *25,004*   $ 16,163 $ 990   $ 17,153  
Adjusted EBITDA ^(1) *$* *27,982* *$* *3,249* *$* *31,231*   $ 19,662 $ 2,553   $ 22,215  
Additional information: * * * * * * * * * * * *              
Addition to property, plant and equipment and intangible assets * * *8,394* * * *578* * * *8,972*     7,054   1,081     8,135  
* *        
*Consolidated results*
(In thousands of dollars) Fiscal 2020     Fiscal 2019
* * * Sugar* * * *Maple Products* * * *Total*   * * Sugar   Maple
Products     Total  
Revenues *$* *631,263* *$* *229,538* *$* *860,801*   $ 595,878 $ 198,414   $ 794,292  
Gross margin * * *105,088* * * *21,111* * * *126,199*     100,301   22,274     122,575  
Administration and selling expenses * * *27,959* * * *10,981* * * *38,940*     21,609   9,962     31,571  
Distribution costs * * *16,266* * * *2,983* * * *19,249*     13,153   3,704     16,857  
Goodwill impairment * * *-* * * *-* * * *-*     -   50,000     50,000  
Results from operating activities (EBIT) *$* *60,863* *$* *7,147* *$* *68,010*   $ 65,539 $ (41,392 ) $ 24,147  
Non- GAAP results: * * * * * * * * * * * *              
Adjusted Gross Margin ^(1) *$* *106,212* *$* *19,906* *$* *126,118*   $ 94,032 $ 22,546   $ 116,578  
Adjusted results from operating activities (Adjusted EBIT)^(1) *$* *61,987* *$* *5,942* *$* *67,929*   $ 59,270 $ 8,880   $ 68,150  
Adjusted EBITDA ^(1) *$* *78,877* *$* *13,382* *$* *92,259*   $ 73,135 $ 14,673   $ 87,808  
Additional information: * * * * * * * * * * * *              
Addition to property, plant and equipment and intangible assets * * *20,711* * * *               6,569* * * *27,280*     22,645   4,468     27,113  
^(1) See “Non-GAAP Measures” section of the MD&A for definition and reconciliation to GAAP measures

*Sugar*Strong performance in the sugar segment in the fourth quarter and full year fiscal 2020 was driven by increased volumes across almost all segments of the sugar business and improved adjusted gross margin. Approximately 14,000 metric tonnes of the volume increase in the fourth quarter and the current year is attributable to the extra week of fiscal 2020.

(In thousands of dollars, except volume) * * Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year
* * *2020* * * 2019   *2020*     2019
Revenues *$* *188,666* $ 159,432 $ *631,263*   $ 595,878 * * * *       * *      
Volume (MT) as at September 28, 2019 * * 196,903       741,144      
Variation: * *                
Industrial * * 10,367       (10,850 )    
Consumer * * 5,818       19,770      
Liquid * * 5,418       5,642      
Export * * 6,890       5,349      
Total variation * * 28,493       19,911      
Volume as at October 3, 2020 * * *225,396*       *761,055*      

Revenues increased in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 and for the year due to an extra week of operation in fiscal 2020, higher weighted average raw sugar values in Canadian dollars as well as an increase in overall volumes. 

Volumes in the industrial market segment increased in the fourth quarter mostly due to the extra week of shipments and the return to normal demand for certain large industrial accounts earlier impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the full year, industrial volumes were lower than last year due to reduced demand in the third quarter driven by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in less demand for manufacturing of food products destined for the food service sector. Industrial volumes were also impacted by the non-recurring sales to a competitor that occurred in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 and by the rail blockades that took place in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, which created difficulties in servicing our Ontario customers.

Consumer volumes increased in the fourth quarter and full year in 2020 due to the extra week of shipments in the current year and continued strong retail demand driven by the increase in home baking associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Liquid volumes increased in the current quarter and the current year as a result of the extra week of shipments in 2020 along with additional demand from existing customers.

Finally, export volumes increased in the current quarter and the full year driven by additional U.S. global refined Tariff-Rate Quotas (“TRQ”) in fiscal 2020. In total the Company sold 5,349 metric tonnes more than in the previous year. Most of the extra volume was sold in the fourth quarter of 2020. The export sales for 2020 amounted to approximately 57,000 metric tonnes of which approximately 18,000 metric tonnes were entered against the various US refined TRQs.

(In thousands of dollars, except per metric tonne information) * * Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year
* * * 2020* * * 2019     *2020*   2019  
Gross margin *$* *32,198* $ 24,643   *$* *105,088* $ 100,301  
Total adjustment to cost of sales ^(1) (2) * * *3,305* * * (285 )   *1,124*   (6,269 )
Adjusted gross margin ^(1) *$* *35,503* $ 24,358   *$* *106,212* $ 94,032  
Gross margin per metric tonne *$* *142.85* $ 125.15   *$* *138.08* $ 135.33  
Adjusted gross margin per metric tonne *$* *157.51* $ 123.71   *$* *139.56* $ 126.87  
Included in Gross margin:                    
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment and right-of-use assets *$* *3,920* $ 3,298   *$* *14,918* $ 13,072  
^(1) See “Non-GAAP Measures” section of the MD&A for definition and reconciliation to GAAP measures
^(2) See “Adjusted results” section of the MD&A

Adjusted gross margin for the current quarter was $11.1 million or 45.8% higher than the last quarter of fiscal 2019. For the fourth quarter of 2020, the adjusted gross margin per metric tonne was $33.80 higher than the prior year. The favourable variance in adjusted gross margin per metric tonne was mainly related to higher sales volume in the grocery and exports segments.For fiscal 2020, adjusted gross margin increased by $12.2 million or 13%. For fiscal 2020, adjusted gross margin per metric tonne increased by $12.69 compared to fiscal 2019. The favourable variance in adjusted gross margin per metric tonne was again mainly related to higher sales volume in the grocery and export segments and from lower volume originating from our beet sugar plant in Taber.

(In thousands of dollars) * * Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year
* * * 2020* * * 2019     *2020*   2019  
Results from operating activities *$* *20,198* $ 16,448   *$* *60,863* $ 65,539  
Total adjustment to cost of sales ^(1) (2) * * *3,305* * * (285 )   *1,124*   (6,269 )
Adjusted results from operating activities (Adjusted EBIT) *$* *23,503* $ 16,163   *$* *61,987* $ 59,270  
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment, right-of-use assets andamortization of intangible assets * * *4,479* * * 3,499     *16,890*   13,865  
Adjusted EBITDA ^(1) (2) *$* *27,982* $ 19,662   *$* *78,877* $ 73,135  
^(1) See “Non-GAAP Measures” section of the MD&A for definition and reconciliation to GAAP measures
^(2) See “Adjusted results” section of the MD&A

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter and the year of 2020 increased by $8.3 million and $5.7 million, respectively compared to last year. The improvement was mainly driven by increased adjusted results from operation, as described above, along with a larger adjustment for the impact of non-cash depreciation and amortization expenses largely caused by the implementation of IFRS 16. The adoption of the new IFRS 16 Leases standard resulted in a $0.9 million and $3.0 million increase in adjusted EBITDA for the current quarter and the year, respectively.*Maple products*

(In thousands of dollars, except volume) * * Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year
* * * 2020* * * 2019   *2020*   2019
Volume (‘000 pounds) * * *13,181*   10,163 * * *53,180*   42,377
Revenues *$* *57,546* $ 48,140 *$* *229,538* $ 198,414

Revenues increased in the fourth quarter and fiscal 2020 by $9.4 million and $31.1 million compared to the same periods last year mainly due to higher sales volumes from new and existing customers. Volumes in the fourth quarter and full year increased by 29.7% and 25.5%, respectively, in part driven by higher demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

(In thousands of dollars, except adjusted gross margin rate information) * * Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year
* * * 2020*   * * 2019     *2020*     2019  
Gross margin *$* *5,692*   $ 4,430   *$* *21,111*   $ 22,274  
Total adjustment to cost of sales ^(1) (2) * * *(1,130* *)* * * 238     *(1,205* *)*   272  
Adjusted gross margin ^(1) *$* *4,562*   $ 4,668   *$* *19,906*   $ 22,546  
Gross margin percentage * * *9.9* *%*   9.2 % * * *9.2* *%*   11.2 %
Adjusted gross margin percentage ^(1) * * *7.9* *%*   9.7 %   *8.7* *%*   11.4 %
Included in Gross margin:                        
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment and right-of-use assets *$* *809*   $ 557   *$* *3,083*   $ 1,855  
^(1) See “Non-GAAP Measures” section of the MD&A for definition and reconciliation to GAAP measures
^(2) See “Adjusted results” section of the MD&A

Adjusted gross margin for the current quarter and the year amounted to $4.6 million and $19.9 million, respectively. Adjusted gross margin in the fourth quarter and for the year on a percentage basis was lower than prior year due largely to lower average pricing resulting from increased market competition. Adjusted gross margin was also impacted in fiscal 2020 by non-recurring operational costs incurred in connection with the relocation of the Granby production facility.Administration and selling expenses for the fourth quarter and for the year were $2.6 million and $11.0 million, respectively. Fourth quarter levels were consistent with the same quarter last year and the increase of $1.0 million compared to fiscal 2019 was mainly related to additional costs incurred to support the business, including costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Distribution expenses were $0.6 million and $0.7 million lower in the fourth quarter and for the year when compared to the same periods last year driven largely by changes in the sales product mix.

(In thousands of dollars) * * Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year
* * * 2020*   * * 2019     *2020*     2019  
Results from operating activities *$* *2,631*   $ (49,248 ) *$* *7,147*   $ (41,392 )
Total adjustment to cost of sales ^(1) (2) * * *(1,130* *)* * * 238     *(1,205* *)*   272  
Adjusted results from operating activities (Adjusted EBIT)^(1) *   * *1,501*   * * (49,010 ) *   * *5,942*     (41,120 )
Non-recurring expenses: * * * *     * * * *    
Other one-time non-recurring items * * *63*     131   * * *852*     437  
Depreciation and amortization * * *1,685*     1,432   * * *6,588*     5,356  
Goodwill impairment * * *-*     50,000   * * *-*     50,000  
Adjusted EBITDA ^(1) *$* *3,249*   $ 2,553   *$* *13,382*   $ 14,673  
^(1) See “Non-GAAP Measures” section of the MD&A for definition and reconciliation to GAAP measures
^(2) See “Adjusted results” section of the MD&A

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter and the year of 2020 increased by $0.7 million and decreased by $1.3 million, respectively compared to last year. For the fourth quarter, the favorable variance was mainly related to lower distribution costs. For the year, the variance was mainly related to unfavourable adjusted gross margin and higher administration and selling expenses, partially offset by lower distribution costs.At the end of 2019, the Company reviewed the valuation of the Maple cash generating unit and concluded that the carrying value of goodwill exceeded the expected recoverable amount.  As a result, the Company recorded a non-cash impairment of $50.0 million to its goodwill balance in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

*Outlook*

The health and safety of our employees remains our top priority. With respect to COVID-19, the Company is closely following all public health authority recommendations and has put in place enhanced safety protocols. While our plants have continued to operate without any disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains difficult to estimate or forecast the impact going forward on operations and/or financial results. The Company is closely monitoring the situation and will react quickly to the changing circumstances.   

*Sugar*

The Company expects the sugar segment to continue to perform well in fiscal 2021. A combination of strong underlying demand resulting in increased volumes along with a successful beet harvest are expected to result in improved fiscal 2021 operational and financial performance.

Sales volume and Adjusted EBITDA
Market conditions are expected to remain favourable for the sugar business segment in fiscal 2021, despite the ongoing impact of COIVD-19. The Company expects sales volume and adjusted EBITDA to improve moderately over fiscal 2020. Sales volumes for fiscal 2021 are expected to increase by approximately 5,000 metrics tonnes notwithstanding the extra week of 2020, to reach approximately 766,000 metric tonnes. 

Volume for industrial customers

The Company anticipates that volume for the industrial customer group will increase by approximately 4,000 metric tonnes in 2021, representing a return to normal demand levels with minimal impact from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

For the liquid portion of the industrial customer group, the Company expects volume for 2021 to be comparable to 2020.

Volume for retail customers

The retail consumer demand in 2020 was better than expected due to the effects of COVID-19 and additional week of operations. In fiscal 2021, the Company does not expect to experience the same level of COVID-19 related demand and anticipates retail customer volume to decrease by approximately 8,000 metric tonnes or 7.0% as compared to 2020.

Volume related to export sales

The Company anticipates export volumes for 2021 to be approximately 10,000 metric tonnes above 2020 driven by the implementation of new export quotas and the resumption of deferred beet shipments to Mexico. The increase also includes 14,400 metric tonnes for 2021 to be supplied by the Taber factory, under the CUSMA special quotas that took effect on July 1, 2020.

Other considerations

In fiscal 2021, the Company expects Adjusted EBITDA to benefit from the return to normal operating conditions in its Taber beet sugar facility. In the fall of 2019, the beet harvest was suspended early due to the impact of severe adverse weather in Alberta. As a result, the crop derived a much inferior quantity of refined sugar resulting in a shortfall of approximately 62,000 metric tonnes. For the 2020 crop, the Company contracted 30,000 acres for planting in Taber, an increase of 2,000 acres from last year.  In addition, Taber started harvesting and slicing earlier than previous years and, under normal growing conditions, the new crop is expected to yield approximately 132,000 metric tonnes of beet sugar.

Maintenance programs for the three operating facilities are expected to follow the trend of previous years. Spending on capital projects is also expected to be similar to recent periods. For fiscal 2021, the Company anticipates spending between $25.0 million and $30.0 million on various capital projects, with approximately a quarter allocated to return on investment projects.

In October 2020, the Company announced a strategic collaboration with DouxMatok, a food-tech company and pioneer in the development of efficient flavor delivery technologies, to deliver a unique sugar reduction solution based on cane sugar, to food companies in North America. Although this is a small portion of the sweetener market, we believe this could provide a competitive offering in this niche market.

*Maple products*

In fiscal 2021, the Company expects to see continued improvement in sales margins, driven by successful contract negotiations with new and existing customers. In addition, the Company expects to lower its operating costs and improve its gross margin through ongoing optimization at its manufacturing facilities and efficiency improvements provided by  the investments made in the past two years in its new Granby facility and existing Dégelis plant. Competitive pressures in the Maple industry have stabilized over the past few quarters; however, the Company remains focused on maintaining its market share and improving its sales margins.

Capital investments are expected to be reduced significantly for the Maple segment considering the expenditures incurred over the last two years to improve and increase the production capacity.  We continue to expect steady growth in demand for Maple-related products although we expect a tempering from the increase seen during the period of COVID-19.

See “Forward Looking Statements” section and “Risks and Uncertainties” section.

*Mark-to-Market Measures *

With the mark-to-market of all derivative financial instruments at the end of each reporting period, our accounting income does not represent a complete understanding of factors and trends affecting the business.  Consistent with previous reporting, we prepared adjusted gross margin and adjusted earnings results to reflect the performance of the Company during the period without the impact of the mark-to-market of derivative financial instruments.  Earnings before interest and income taxes (“EBIT”) included a mark-to-market loss of $2.2 million and a gain of $0.1 million for the fourth quarter and year-to-date of fiscal 2020, respectively, which was deducted to calculate the adjusted EBIT and adjusted gross margin results.   Adjusted EBITDA represents EBIT, adjusted for the total adjustment to cost of sales for mark-to-market of derivative financial instruments, depreciation and amortization expenses, non-cash goodwill impairment and the Maple products segment non-recurring costs.  See “Non-GAAP measures” section in the MD&A.

*Access to Quarterly Results Information*

Rogers Sugar Inc. (RSI) will be holding a conference call to discuss their 2020 fourth quarter results on Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 at 17:30 (Eastern Time).

The conference call will be chaired by Mr. John Holliday, Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Jean-Sebastien Couillard, Chief Financial Officer.

*Conference Call and Webcast Presentation *

If you wish to participate, please dial 1-877-223-4471. A recording of the conference call will be accessible shortly after the conference, by dialing 1-800-585-8367, access code 1577637#. This recording will be available until December 2, 2020.
*FOR THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS,*
                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                               M. Dallas H. Ross, Chairman                                                                                                               Vancouver, British Columbia – November 25^th, 2020

For further information:
Mr. Jean-Sébastien Couillard, Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary
Tel:  (514) 940-4350 - email: [email protected] or Visit our Website at www.LanticRogers.com

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