Dominion Citrus Limited

Dominion Citrus Limited

March 28, 2005 09:02 ET

Dominion Citrus Limited Announces Fiscal 2004 Results


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: DOMINION CITRUS LIMITED

TSX SYMBOL: DMN
TSX SYMBOL: DMN.PR.A

MARCH 28, 2005 - 09:02 ET

Dominion Citrus Limited Announces Fiscal 2004 Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 28, 2005) - Dominion Citrus
Limited (TSX:DMN)(TSX:DMN.PR.A) -

2004 Report to Shareholders

Fiscal 2004 Highlights

- Revenue of $131,619,000 up $11,128,000, or 9.2% over last year.

- Income before portfolio and Catanti related income (expense) was
$4,267,000, up from $4,189,000 in fiscal 2003.

- Incurred a portfolio loss and Catanti related write-down/provision of
$1,649,000 versus income of $101,000 last year. Subsequent to year-end
the Company sold its remaining portfolio investments, including Humpty
Dumpty Snack Foods Ltd. for net proceeds of approximately $2,582,000 and
recorded the pre-tax loss of $1,184,000 in 2004. The Company also
recorded a write-down of its Catanti trademarks for $359,000 and an
additional Catanti related provision of $116,000.

- Fully diluted earnings per share of $0.060 versus $0.131 last year per
GAAP.

- On a non-GAAP basis, basic net earnings per share based on net
earnings before the portfolio and Catanti related income (loss) were
$0.132 versus $0.136 last year.

- Generated operating cash flow of $4,606,000 versus ($1,616,000) last
year, an improvement of $6,222,000.

-Acquired a 100% interest in Distribution Bo-Fruits Inc, a Quebec City
based distributor of fresh produce.

- Announced the construction of a 58,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art
processing and refrigerated warehousing facility in Toronto.

- Announced and largely completed the construction of a 5,400 sq. ft.
refrigerated addition to its existing 2,700 sq. ft. Quebec City facility.

The Company reports revenue of $131,619,000 for fiscal 2004, up 9.2%
compared to $120,491,000 last year. This generated earnings, before the
portfolio loss and the Catanti related loss, of $4,267,000 versus
$4,189,000 in the prior year. As a result of selling its remaining
portfolio investments subsequent to year-end, the Corporation recorded a
pre-tax loss of $1,184,000 in 2004. The Company also recorded a
write-down of its Catanti trademarks for $359,000 and an additional
Catanti related provision of $116,000. As a result of these three items
and an increase of 8.8% in the average number of shares outstanding, net
earnings were $1,324,000 versus $2,687,000 last year, or fully diluted
EPS of $0.060 versus $0.131 last year.

Net earnings for fiscal 2004 before the portfolio loss and Catanti
related expenses were $2,750,000 versus $2,569,000 in 2003. This equates
to basic EPS, before the portfolio loss and the Catanti losses, of
$0.132 versus $0.136 last year. Jacques Lavergne, President and CEO
commented that "Setting aside the portfolio loss and Catanti charges,
revenue and operating earnings growth was achieved despite the
challenges of intense price competition in the Ontario and Quebec retail
grocery market, lower commodity pricing and shortages of some
commodities due to adverse weather conditions in Florida".

He further commented: "The sale of the remaining portfolio investments
subsequent to year end provides liquidity to pursue our expansion
strategy that to date has had a net positive impact on our earnings. We
continue to refine and improve existing operations while maintaining a
disciplined approach to pursuing our expansion strategy".

"We are looking forward to the opening of our new refrigerated warehouse
and processing facility which will provide greater operational
flexibility, lower costs and allow the business to expand its core
operation and offer new third party services".



Dominion Citrus Limited Year End Results
(Audited)
12 months ended December 31

2004 2003
------------ -------------
Revenue $131,619,000 $120,491,000

Gross Margin % 18.4% 18.6%

Operating Income $4,761,000 $4,692,000

Operating Income % 3.6% 3.9%

Other income (expense) (494,000) (503,000)

Income before portfolio & Catanti
related income (expense) 4,267,000 4,189,000

Portfolio & Catanti related income
(expense) (1,649,000) 101,000

Earnings Before Tax $2,618,000 $4,290,000

Net Earnings $1,324,000 $2,687,000

EPS (Basic) $0.060 $0.143

EPS (Fully diluted) $0.060 $0.131

Non-GAAP Measures
-----------------

Net earnings before the portfolio &
Catanti related income (expense) $2,750,000 $2,569,000

EPS (Basic) before the portfolio &
Catanti related income (expense) $0.132 $0.136

Weighted average common shares
outstanding 19,754,788 17,780,081


Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This MD&A contains statements, which, to the extent that they are not
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 MD&A 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 onto
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.

Outlook

In the year ahead, we expect the food industry to remain highly
competitive. Our strategic priority in 2005 is to build on existing
strengths in order to improve productivity and increase market share.

Our new refrigerated warehouse, distribution and processing facility in
Toronto, Ontario is scheduled to open in October of 2005, which will
allow for the consolidation of our Country Fresh division with our
wholesale division and provide new revenue opportunities for 2006. A
warehouse addition to our Bo-Fruits facility in Quebec City will support
the company in leveraging growth opportunities in the Province of Quebec.

We will continue to advance our strategy of expanding as a diversified
food supplier in the food industry through the pursuit of acquisitions
and alliances. The challenge we will face is the availability of
attractive acquisition targets for expansion at a reasonable cost.

About Dominion

Dominion is a diversified food company supplying fresh produce, premium
juices, maple syrup and Mediterranean food products to a wide variety of
customers in retail, foodservice and food distribution businesses. The
Company provides procurement, processing, repacking, sorting, grading,
warehousing and distribution services to over 400 customers, with its
major domestic markets being Ontario and Quebec. The Company also
supplies products to customers in the United States and Europe. The
website can be accessed at www.dominioncitrus.com.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Dominion Citrus Limited
    E. A. Atkinson
    VP Finance, CFO & Corporate Secretary
    416-521-6288
    or
    Dominion Citrus Limited
    J. L. Lavergne
    President & CEO
    416-521-6289