Dominion Citrus Limited
TSX : DMN.PR.A

Dominion Citrus Limited

December 18, 2007 17:59 ET

Dominion Citrus Income Fund Announces New Product Launch and Conversion to a Corporate Structure

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2007) - Dominion Citrus Limited (TSX:DMN.PR.A) -

Dominion Citrus Income Fund (TSX:DOM.UN) ("Dominion Citrus", the "Fund") announces the launch of FreshFix™ to capitalize on new growth opportunities.

Dominion Citrus is proud to announce the launch of a new line of FreshFix™ fresh cut fruit and vegetables and FreshFix™ smoothies and juices.

Sales of this new line capitalize on trends in consumer behavior and the demands of the retail trade. Consumers are increasingly seeking to add fresh fruit and vegetables into their diet to benefit their health and they expect convenience and often do not have the time to wash, peel and cut fresh produce. As a result, demand for ready-to-consume fruits and vegetables in assorted formats is growing rapidly.

Retailers have been responding to the demand by preparing fresh cut fruits and vegetables in store. However, they encounter several issues including shelf life, high labour costs, lack of product traceability and health and safety.

Dominion Citrus is investing in new technologies in super-clean preparation facilities and controlled atmosphere packaging that enables produce to be prepared and delivered to stores so it remains crisp, tasty and safe without the use of chemicals and preservatives.

Dominion Citrus will market the new line of fresh cut fruit and vegetables in a variety of formats, from single-serve to party platters, under the new brand FreshFix™ as well as under retailers' private labels.

In December 2007 Dominion Citrus also launched a new line of fresh-ground fruits under the FreshFix™ brand. The line is provided in a convenient single serve size of 250mL as well as a 946mL size.

Dominion Citrus ships fresh cut and FreshFix™ products to several major retailers.

The board and management of Dominion Citrus are confident that this initiative will contribute materially to the sales and profits of the company in the years to come.

In the contexts of funding the exciting FreshFix™ initiative and the prospective changes to the legislation applicable to income trust taxation taking place in 2011, the trustees have determined that the income trust structure is less well suited to the business of Dominion Citrus than a conventional corporate structure, and will recommend to unitholders a conversion back to a corporation, subject to regulatory approval, as soon as practicable in 2008. The trustees have declared a cash distribution of $0.01 (one cent) per unit for the period from November 1, 2007 to November 30, 2007, payable on December 28, 2007 to unitholders of record on December 21, 2007. The trustees have suspended all further distributions pending determination of the timing and nature of the proposed reorganization into a corporation. Management expects the reorganization to be complete before June 30, 2008.

About Dominion

The Fund is a publicly traded, unincorporated, open-ended limited purpose income trust. In early January 2006, all of the common shares of Dominion Citrus Limited ("DCL") were exchanged for trust units of the Fund. The trust units are listed on the TSX under the symbol DOM.UN. The Series A preference shares of DCL continue to be listed on the TSX under the symbol DMN.PR.A.

Dominion is a diversified food company supplying fresh produce, premium juices and maple syrup to a wide variety of customers in retail, foodservice and food distribution businesses. The Fund provides procurement, processing, repacking, sorting, grading, warehousing and distribution services to its major domestic markets being Ontario and Quebec. The Fund also supplies products to customers in the United States and Europe. The website may be accessed at www.dominioncitrus.com.

Caution regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains statements, which, to the extent that they are not a recitation of historical fact, may constitute "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements may include financial and other projections, as well as statements regarding our future plans, objectives or performance, or our underlying assumptions. The words "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "intend" or other similar expressions of future or conditional verbs such as "will", "should", "would" and "could" are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Persons reading this press release are cautioned that such statements are only expectations, and that our actual results or performance may be materially different.

Forward-looking information involves certain risks, assumptions, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements.

Readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements when making decisions, and should consider the date to which the statements were made. Except as required by applicable security law, management disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information

  • Investors:
    Dominion Citrus Income Fund
    E. A. Atkinson
    VP Finance, CFO & Corporate Secretary
    (416) 242-8341 Ext 249
    or
    Media:
    Dominion Citrus Income Fund
    J.L. Lavergne
    President & CEO
    (416) 242-8341 Ext 250
    Website: www.dominioncitrus.com