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Maple Leaf Foods reassessing plant protein business, says CEO

Michael McCain's comments come as the company reports $44.5 million third-quarter profit
Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. said it is reassessing its plant protein investments as it reported a third-quarter profit of $44.5 million.

CEO Michael McCain says the company is seeing a marked slowdown in the plant-based protein category performance, which may suggest systemic change in the extremely high growth rates expected by the industry.

He says that given the performance, the company is conducting a review that will either affirm or adjust its strategies and investment thesis going forward.

Maple Leaf says its profit for the quarter amounted to 36 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down from $66 million or 54 cents per share in the same quarter last year, when it saw gains in non-cash fair value changes in biological assets and derivative contracts.

On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf earned 36 cents per share for the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 17 cents per share a year ago.

Sales totalled $1.18 billion, up from $1.06 billion in the same quarter last year. Meat protein group sales rose to $1.15 billion compared with $1.01 billion a year ago, while plant protein group sales fell to $48 million compared with $51.4 million a year ago.

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