Plant-based protein fuels sales growth at Maple Leaf Foods

The food company recorded a 12.5% sales increase in its second quarter
In 2017, Maple Leaf Foods purchased Lightlife Foods, which makes pea protein-based burgers.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. says
its second-quarter sales rose by 12.5% during the period, fuelled in part by growing demand for plant-based protein products.

The company says its revenue grew to $1.02 billion, up from $909.2 million a year ago, driven by acquisitions, its value-added product portfolio and continued double-digit growth in plant-based protein.

READ: Plant protein producers aim for mainstream with new research, investments

However, it posted a net loss of $6.3 million or five cents per share during the three months ended June 30 due to $60.7 million of non-cash fair value changes on balance sheet items.

READ: Maple Leaf expands further into alternative proteins

On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf reported operating earnings of $65.2 million, or 33 cents per share.

Analysts had expected quarterly revenue of $1 billion and earnings per share of 31 cents, according to the financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

READ: Maple Leaf to build plant-based protein facility in Indiana

Maple Leaf Foods chief executive Michael McCain said its meat protein business delivered excellent profit growth even with difficult market conditions, and it is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for plant-based protein.

"We have materially stepped up our game as a leader in the plant-based protein market, positioning us to win in this high-growth business," he said in a statement.

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