Ridley Inc.
TSX : RCL

Ridley Inc.

April 25, 2012 19:02 ET

Ridley Inc. Reports Financial Results for Fiscal 2012 Third Quarter

MANKATO, MINNESOTA and WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - April 25, 2012) - Ridley Inc. (TSX:RCL) today reported its financial results for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2012. All currency amounts are stated in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.

For the three months ended March 31, 2012, Ridley's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and exceptions (EBITDA (i)) were $10.2 million compared to $7.4 million last year. Net profit after income taxes (NPAT) was $4.0 million (30 cents per share) compared to $3.4 million (27 cents per share) last year.

Ridley also reported today that it has declared a special cash dividend on its common stock of CAD $2.00 per share payable on May 18, 2012 to shareholders of record on May 7, 2012. The special dividend of approximately CAD $25.6 million is not indicative of any intention at the present time to initiate a regular dividend payment to shareholders.

Ridley's tonnage volumes in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were even with the same period last year reflecting a continuation of generally favourable economic conditions for livestock and poultry producers despite unseasonably mild weather this year. The Company continues to grow in volumes of higher value-added feed supplements and premixes while volumes of complete feeds have decreased. Because of rising feed ingredient prices, sales revenues increased in the third quarter over last year by $13.1 million to $167.3 million. Gross profits increased by 12.5% in the quarter to $22.2 million on increased volumes and higher unit margins from an improved product mix and rising commodity markets. However, feed ingredient prices remain volatile and there is no certainty that the improvement in unit margins attributable to market trends in the third quarter will extend to future periods.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2012, Ridley discontinued operations at its feed manufacturing facilities in Bushnell, Illinois and Castleton, Indiana. The decision to close these facilities was made after a determination that their feed products could be manufactured more efficiently at Ridley's other facilities in the Midwest. Ridley recorded $2.0 million in charges in the third quarter for asset impairments, loss on sale of facilities, severance and other restructuring costs related to these closures.

Net earnings before exceptions in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $5.3 million compared to $3.4 million in the same period last year. Volume growth and an improved product mix enabled U.S. Feed Operations to report improved operating income before exceptions of $2.4 million in the third quarter. Ridley Block Operations achieved a $1.0 million increase in operating income also on volume growth that more than offset unfavourable weather conditions this winter. Ridley Feed Ingredients' operating income of $1.0 million in the quarter was even with last year. An increase of $0.4 million in operating income from Canadian Feed Operations reflects improvements in unit margins and lower operating expenses in a difficult market environment where complete feed volumes have declined.

MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

This Management Discussion and Analysis dated as at April 25, 2012 and the accompanying interim consolidated financial statements for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2012 have been prepared to reflect the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") by Ridley Inc., with effect from July 1, 2010. Note 22 to the interim consolidated financial statements contains a detailed description of the Company's conversion to IFRS, including a line-by-line reconciliation of its consolidated financial statements previously prepared under Canadian GAAP to those prepared under IFRS for the comparative three-month and nine-month periods ending March 31, 2011 and for the twelve months ending June 30, 2011. Although the adoption of IFRS resulted in adjustments to Ridley's financial statements, it did not materially impact the underlying cash flows or profitability of the Company's operations.

For fiscal 2012, the Company has modified its reporting segments. Prior to this year, Ridley Feed Operations (RFO) was comprised of Ridley's traditional Canadian and U.S. feed businesses. The RFO segment has now been divided into two reporting segments: Canadian Feed Operations (CFO) and U.S. Feed Operations (USFO). Prior to fiscal 2012, Ridley Nutrition Solutions (RNS) was a combination of Ridley's feed supplement block business and McCauley Bros. Inc., a premium equine feed business. Starting in fiscal 2012 the McCauley equine business is reported within the results of U.S. Feed Operations while the block business of RNS is renamed Ridley Block Operations (RBO). The Ridley Feed Ingredients (RFI) reporting segment, which produces and distributes vitamin and trace mineral premixes, small packaged specialty products, medicated and non-medicated feed additives and micro feed ingredients, is unchanged from prior years.

Third Quarter Results

The following summary data is presented to assist in understanding the fiscal 2012 third quarter results.

Summary of Results Three months ended Nine months ended
March 31 March 31
($ million except for EPS) 2012 2011 2012 2011
Revenue $167.3 $154.2 $501.0 $441.0
Gross profit 22.2 19.7 58.3 57.1
Operating income 6.1 5.5 13.9 16.1
Net earnings before exceptions 5.3 3.4 10.1 10.0
Exceptions, net of income taxes (noted below (i)) 1.3 - 1.5 -
Net earnings 4.0 3.4 8.6 10.0
Diluted earnings per share (EPS) $0.30 $0.27 $0.67 $0.78
EBITDA (ii) $10.2 $7.4 $22.3 $21.9
(i) Exceptions - In the preceding summary data, net earnings were reported before exceptions. Exceptions in the nine months ended March 31, 2012 were comprised of a $0.2 million loss net of taxes from the sale of a previously closed facility in Syracuse, Indiana, and $1.3 million net of taxes on impairment of assets, severance and other restructuring costs related to the discontinuation of operations at facilities in Castleton, Indiana and Bushnell, Illinois.
(ii) EBITDA - Operating income before depreciation, amortization and exceptions. EBITDA does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and, therefore, is not readily comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. However, Ridley management believes that this measure provides investors with useful supplemental information.

Consolidated Third Quarter Results

Revenue of $167.3 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was higher by $13.1 million from the same period last year. A comparison of revenue is not necessarily indicative of the strength of Ridley's business because revenue is influenced by fluctuating commodity prices. Raw material prices were generally higher this year than the same period last year, which had the effect of increasing average unit selling prices for the Company's feed products. Consolidated sales tonnage volumes in the third quarter were not significantly changed from last year.

Consolidated gross profit in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $22.2 million compared to $19.7 million in the same period last year. Gross profit is comprised of the margin of sales revenues over ingredient costs less the fixed and variable costs of manufacturing and delivery. Unit margins for feed products may be affected by inventory holding gains or losses realized during periods in which market prices for feed ingredients are rising or falling. Overall margins are also affected by changes in relative volumes between lower value-added products, such as some complete feeds, and higher value-added products, which include supplements, blocks and premixes. In the third quarter of fiscal 2012 most of the increase of $2.5 million in consolidated gross profits resulted from the continuing shift in Ridley's product mix toward higher value-added products. Part of the increase in unit margins in the third quarter this year was also the result of gains from rising feed ingredients.

Operating expenses include selling, general and administration, research and development and other expenses or income as well as certain exceptions including restructuring and plant impairment and the gain or loss on sale of facilities. Excluding exceptions, operating expenses in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $14.0 million compared to $14.3 million in the prior year. Exceptions included in operating expenses in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 amounted to $2.0 million in charges recorded by the U.S. Feed Operations segment for discontinuation of operations at feed manufacturing facilities in Castleton, Indiana and Bushnell, Illinois. These charges included asset impairment of $1.1 million, loss on sale of facilities of $0.3 million and restructuring costs of $0.6 million, which include severance and preparation of the sites for closure and sale. As a result of these actions, operating expenses, including exceptions, increased to $16.0 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 from $14.3 million in the previous year.

EBITDA is comprised of operating income before depreciation, amortization and exceptions. For the three months ended March 31, 2011 EBITDA was $10.2 million compared to $7.4 million for the same period last year. The material exceptions in the third quarter of this year include $2.0 million related to the discontinuation of two facilities in U.S. Feed Operations as noted above. There were no material exceptions in the third quarter of the prior year.

Net earnings after taxes for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $4.0 million (earnings per share of $0.30) compared to $3.4 million in the same period of fiscal 2011(earnings per share of $0.27).

Comprehensive income (loss) is the change in net assets that results from transactions, events and circumstances from sources other than investments by and/or distributions to shareholders. Other comprehensive income (OCI) is comprised primarily of unrealized gains and losses on translation of financial statements of related entities with foreign functional currency to U.S. dollar reporting currency. Comprehensive income in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 was $4.4 million, which was comprised of net income of $4.0 million, as reported above, plus unrealized gains of $0.4 million on the translation of the financial statements of Canadian entities to U.S. currency.

Consolidated Nine Months Results

For the nine months ended March 31, 2012, revenue of $501.0 million was $60.0 million higher than the same period last year. Generally higher raw material prices this year had the effect of increasing average unit selling prices for the Company's feed products. Tonnage volumes this year-to-date increased by 0.6% over last year with the result that the 13.6% increase in sales revenues in the current year-to-date mostly reflects the higher level of raw material costs over last year and continued improvements in product mix. Factors bearing on tonnage volumes in the first nine months of fiscal 2012 included positive sales results under good economic conditions for livestock and poultry producers combined with favourable weather conditions for feed supplement sales in the first quarter this year, which helped to offset the negative effect of unseasonably mild weather in the second and third quarters.

Consolidated gross profit of $58.3 million for the year-to-date fiscal 2012 was $1.2 million ahead of the prior year due to improved product mix and lower manufacturing overheads in U.S. and Canadian Feed Operations.

Operating expenses in the nine months of fiscal 2012 were $44.4 million, an increase of $3.5 million over last year. Included in operating expenses this year were $2.0 million recorded in the third quarter for asset impairment, loss on sale of facilities and other restructuring charges on the discontinuations of operations in Bushnell, Illinois and Castleton, Indiana and $0.3 million recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 for the loss on sale of a facility in Syracuse, Indiana. Selling and marketing expenses were higher by $0.7 million this year while administration expenses were flat compared to last year.

EBITDA in the year-to-date fiscal 2012 was $22.3 million compared to $21.9 million for the same period last year. EBITDA is comprised of operating income before amortization and exceptions. Exceptions in fiscal 2012 consisted of $2.3 million expense on the closure or sale of three redundant facilities noted above. There were no exceptions of material significance in the first nine months of the prior year.

Net earnings after taxes for the nine months ended March 31, 2012 were $8.6 million (earnings per share of $0.67) compared to $10.0 million (earnings per share of $0.78) in the same period last year.

Comprehensive income of $7.7 million in the nine months of fiscal 2012 was comprised of net income of $8.6 million, as reported above, less unrealized losses of $0.9 million on the translation to U.S. currency of financial statements of Canadian entities.

International Financial Reporting Standards

The Canadian Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) requires all public companies to adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for interim and annual financial statements for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. The Company commenced reporting its financial results in accordance with IFRS for the year ended June 30, 2012 and its quarterly unaudited interim results starting with the quarter ending September 30, 2011. The notes accompanying the interim financial statements provide comparative data on an IFRS basis, including an opening balance sheet as at July 1, 2010.

Differences between Canadian GAAP and IFRS in the method for the determination of impairment of assets resulted in the Company realizing an impairment of certain assets in its conversion to IFRS. The impairment amount of $12.7 million is reflected as a decrease in property, plant and equipment in the opening transition balance sheet as at July 1, 2010. IFRS and Canadian GAAP also differ on the recognition of actuarial gains/losses associated with long-term employee obligations such as defined benefit pensions and post-retirement medical benefits. Canadian GAAP allows for deferral and subsequent amortization of actuarial gains/losses while IFRS recognize gains/losses immediately through comprehensive income. The opening transition entries include an increase in liabilities of $11.4 million associated with long-term employee benefits. Deferred tax benefits of $8.3 million are recorded under IFRS for the income tax effects of the aforementioned transition entries. Combined, these changes realized from the conversion to IFRS resulted in a net reduction to equity of $15.8 million in the opening transition balance sheet as at July 1, 2010.

The Company elected to reclassify all cumulative translation differences as of January 1, 2010 from a separate component of equity to retained earnings. The effect of this reclassification was a reduction in the balance sheet account of accumulated other comprehensive income, and an increase in retained earnings, of $11.2 million. Overall, there was no impact on total equity.

The Company has performed an evaluation of its financial information systems and the financial reporting impact of divergences identified to-date and concluded that the transition to IFRS did not require material modifications to its information and reporting systems. The Company concluded that its internal controls over financial reporting and its disclosure controls and procedures are appropriately designed and properly functioning for an IFRS reporting environment. The design includes new controls over the transition accounting.

Reconciliation of Non-IFRS Financial Measures

The Company reports its financial results according to IFRS. However, included in this management discussion and analysis are certain non-IFRS financial measures and ratios, which the Company's management believes provide useful information in measuring the financial performance and financial condition of the Company. These measures and ratios do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and, therefore, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other public companies, nor should they be construed as an alternative to other financial measures described by IFRS.

The following table is a reconciliation of EBITDA to net earnings, the most closely comparable IFRS measure to EBITDA. For purposes of this table, operating income is defined as net earnings before finance costs, interest income and provision for income taxes. EBITDA is defined as operating income before depreciation, amortization and exceptions.

EBITDA Three months ended Nine months ended
March 31 March 31
($ million) 2012 2011 2012 2011
Net earnings $4.0 $3.4 $8.6 $10.0
Provision for income taxes 2.2 1.7 5.2 5.7
Interest income (0.1 ) (0.1 ) (0.2 ) (0.2 )
Finance costs 0.1 0.4 0.2 0.7
Operating income $6.1 $5.5 $13.9 $16.1
Amortization of property, plant and equipment 1.8 1.8 5.5 5.3
Other amortization 0.2 0.2 0.6 0.6
Loss on sale of facilities 0.3 - 0.7 (0.1 )
Asset impairment loss 1.1 - 1.1 -
Restructuring charges 0.6 - 0.6 -
EBITDA $10.2 $7.4 $22.3 $21.9

SEGMENT RESULTS

The following is a summary of operating income (loss) of Ridley's reporting segments.

Operating Income (Loss) Three months ended Nine months ended
March 31 March 31
($ million) 2012 2011 2012 2011
Canadian Feed Operations (CFO) $0.2 $(0.1 ) $(0.6 ) $0.9
U.S. Feed Operations (USFO) 0.4 0.8 2.6 4.1
Ridley Feed Ingredients (RFI) 1.0 1.0 1.9 2.7
Ridley Block Operations (RBO) 5.4 4.4 12.4 10.9
Corporate (1.0 ) (0.7 ) (2.4 ) (2.5 )
Consolidated Operating Income $6.1 $5.5 $13.9 $16.1

Canadian Feed Operations (CFO)

The Canadian Feed Operations (CFO) segment consists of eight full-line production facilities producing and marketing products for the core animal nutrition market. CFO manufactures and markets a broad range of complete feeds, supplements and premixes to meat, milk and egg producers, and owners of equine and companion animals located mostly in the Prairie Provinces and Ontario.

Although CFO's tonnage volumes in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 declined by 7.5% compared to last year, the decline was largely concentrated in complete feeds, which generally carry lower unit margins and, therefore, have a less proportionate impact on total margins. For the year-to-date, CFO tonnage volumes were lower by 6.1%, mainly in complete feeds.

CFO gross profits in the third quarter this year were $2.9 million compared to $2.6 million in the same period last year. The $0.3 million increase in gross profit in the third quarter was the result of improved unit margins and product mix, increasing feed ingredient prices and lower manufacturing costs that offset the reduction in tonnage volumes. For the nine months year-to-date gross profit was lower by $1.0 million due to reduced tonnage volumes this year and lower gains in unit margins relative to last year from rising feed ingredient prices.

Operating expenses for the quarter were lower by $0.1 million while operating expenses for the year-to-date were higher by $0.5 million, largely a result of expenditures earlier in the year on implementing lean manufacturing improvements. Operating income for the quarter was $0.3 million, an increase of $0.4 million over last year. For the year-to-date, CFO recorded an operating loss of $0.6 million compared to operating income of $0.9 million last year.

U.S. Feed Operations (USFO)

The U.S. Feed Operations (USFO) segment consists of twenty-one full-line production facilities producing and marketing products for the core animal nutrition market. USFO manufactures and markets a broad range of complete feeds, supplements and premixes to meat, milk and egg producers, and owners of equine and companion animals located mostly in the Midwestern United States.

Tonnage volume was higher by 6.9% in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to last year. For the year-to-date, volumes were higher by 4.6% over last year. The increase in volumes in fiscal 2012 reflects stronger performance in sales of higher value-added supplements within a generally favourable livestock environment despite unseasonably mild winter conditions in the second and third quarters.

Gross profits in the third quarter this year increased to $9.4 million from $8.1 million in the same period last year on increased volumes and a more favourable product mix. Average unit margins improved in the third quarter as most of the increase in volume was in higher value-added supplements and premixes. Gross profits for the nine months year-to-date were higher by $1.1 million, largely the result of increased tonnage volumes.

Operating expenses excluding exceptions in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $7.0 million compared to $7.2 million in the prior year. Exceptions included $2.0 million in charges for discontinuation of operations at feed manufacturing facilities in Castleton, Indiana and Bushnell, Illinois as previously noted. Operating expenses for the nine months year-to-date, after adjustment for costs related to discontinued facilities, were $0.6 million higher than the same period last year, mainly a result of increased sales and marketing expenditures.

The decision to terminate production at feed manufacturing facilities in Bushnell and Castleton was made following a determination that products from these locations could be consolidated and manufactured more efficiently at the Company's other facilities in the Midwest. Closure of the Castleton facility resulted in an impairment expense of $1.1 million. The Bushnell facility was sold to an integrated swine producer on March 30, 2012 for proceeds of $1.5 million, which resulted in a loss on sale of facilities of $0.3 million. Other restructuring expenses were $0.6 million, which included employee severance, inventory write-downs, and estimated costs to prepare these facilities for closure and sale.

Operating income of the USFO segment for the third quarter this year excluding exceptions related to the discontinuation of facilities was $2.4 million compared to $0.8 million in the same period last year. For the year-to-date, operating income excluding exceptions was $4.6 million compared to $4.1 million for the same period last year.

Ridley Feed Ingredients (RFI)

The Ridley Feed Ingredients (RFI) segment produces and distributes vitamin and trace mineral premixes, small packaged specialty products, medicated and non-medicated feed additives and micro feed ingredients to customers throughout North America from its production facility in Mendota, Illinois.

Tonnage volumes in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were lower by 12.2% compared to last year, primarily as a result of the discontinuance of a private-label toll-milled product. For the same reason, tonnage volumes for the year-to-date were lower by 11.3%.

Gross profit in the third quarter was lower by $0.1 million from last year due to lower volumes that were partly offset by increased unit margins from a more favourable product mix and lower manufacturing costs. For the year-to-date, gross profit was lower by $0.6 million reflecting lower volumes that were partly offset by increased unit margins. Variable production costs were lower in the third quarter and year-to-date as plant staffing levels were adjusted to lower volumes.

Operating expenses in the third quarter were lower by $0.1 million compared to the prior year but higher by $0.2 million for the year-to-date due to increased consulting fees related to lean manufacturing initiatives. Operating income for the third quarter was $1.0 million, unchanged from the prior year. For the year-to-date, operating income was $1.9 million compared to $2.7 million last year.

Ridley Block Operations (RBO)

The Ridley Block Operations (RBO) segment manufactures and markets a complete range of block supplements, including low moisture, pressed, compressed, composite and poured blocks, and loose minerals from seven U.S. facilities.

Tonnage volumes in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were 2.4% higher relative to last year despite unusually mild winter conditions this year. A favourable beef cattle economy, growth in private label sales and drought in the south-central U.S. were supportive of increased tonnage volumes. For the year-to-date, RBO volumes were 4.4% ahead of last year.

Gross profits of $8.0 million in the third quarter this year were $1.0 million higher over last year as a result of growth in sales volumes of higher value-added block products and rising ingredients prices that were positive to unit margins. For the nine months year-to-date, gross profits were ahead of last year by $1.8 million on increased tonnage volumes and improved unit margins that more than offset increased manufacturing expenses.

Operating expenses of $2.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were unchanged from last year. Year-to-date operating expenses, excluding exceptions, were $7.8 million, unchanged from the previous year. Exceptions in fiscal 2012 included a $0.3 million loss (before income taxes) on the sale in the first quarter of the previously closed block manufacturing facility in Syracuse, Indiana.

Operating income for the quarter was $5.4 million, or $1.0 million ahead of last year, while operating income for the year-to-date was $12.4 million or $1.5 million ahead of last year.

Liquidity/Capital Resources/Cash Flow

Ridley's working capital and debt-to-equity positions are summarized below.

March December September June
31 31 30 30
Balances ($000) as of: 2012 2011 2011 2011
Working capital (i) $46,556 $45,595 $45,961 $40,967
Net debt (cash surplus) (ii) (8,453 ) (2,624 ) 2,432 (1,606 )
Equity 148,724 144,344 139,866 141,016
Net debt-to-equity ratio n/a n/a 1.7% n/a
(i) Working capital is defined as current assets less current liabilities, excluding the following items: cash; short-term deposits; short-term debt; and current portion of long-term debt.
(ii) Net debt (cash surplus) is defined as bank obligations and capital leases less cash and short-term deposits. A cash surplus is defined as an excess of cash and short-term deposits over bank obligations and capital leases.

Working capital balances increased by $1.0 million in the three months between December 31, 2011 and March 31, 2012. Reduced accounts receivable and inventories in the third quarter were more than offset by a $3.1 million reduction in accounts payable and a $3.6 million draw down in advances from U.S. customers who prepay their feed accounts for tax reasons. Working capital balances have increased by $5.6 million since the start of the current year reflecting the seasonal increase in sales volumes between the fourth quarter of the prior year and the third quarter of the current year.

The cash surplus of $8.5 million as at March 31, 2012 was comprised of bank balances of $12.9 million less $4.0 million of outstanding cheques and long-term debt of $0.5 million. The Company's borrowing capacity under its loan agreement with U.S. Bank National Association was $50.0 million as at March 31, 2012.

Subsequent to the end of the third quarter, the Company declared a special dividend of CAD $2.00 per common share to shareholders of record on May 7, 2012 payable on May 18, 2012. The special dividend of approximately CAD $25.6 million is not indicative of any intention at the present time to initiate a regular dividend payment to shareholders. Approximately CAD $1.95 of the special dividend may be designated as an eligible dividend under the Income Tax Act of Canada.

The following is a summary of cash generated or utilized by business operations, net of capital expenditures on plant and equipment and other intangibles, excluding business acquisitions.

Summary of Changes in Cash Available Three months ended Nine months ended
March 31 March 31
($ million) 2012 2011 2012 2011
Cash flow from operating activities $6.4 $6.0 $15.4 $17.3
Net decrease (increase) in non-cash working capital balances (0.8 ) (3.8 ) (2.3 ) (4.7 )
Decrease (increase) in loans receivable, net 0.5 0.0 (0.1 ) (0.0 )
Proceeds on disposal of property, plant and equipment 1.6 0.0 2.1 0.3
Capital expenditures, excluding business acquisitions (1.6 ) (1.5 ) (5.7 ) (5.5 )
Increase in cash available $5.9 $0.7 $9.4 $7.4

For the third quarter of fiscal 2012, cash flows from operations net of capital expenditures were $5.9 million compared to $0.7 million in the same three-month period last year. Lower accounts receivable and inventory balances at the end of March 2012 were more than offset by a corresponding reduction in accounts payable and the drawdown of cash advances from customers. Cash flows in the same period last year were negatively affected by increased working capital balances related to higher feed ingredient prices. Proceeds on disposal of property, plant and equipment in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 of $1.6 million relate mainly to the sale of the Bushnell, Illinois facility.

Capital Expenditures

Capital expenditures in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 were $1.6 million compared to $1.5 million in the same period a year ago. Capital expenditures in the period were on a variety of routine equipment and facility upgrades and continuing automation projects. Capital expenditures for the year-to-date were $5.7 million compared to $5.5 million last year.

Outstanding Share Data

The Company's share capital consists of an unlimited number of common shares, with no par value. On December 12, 2011, the Company received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSX") to initiate a normal course issuer bid for the Company's shares through the facilities of the TSX. The shares repurchase program permits the Company to purchase for cancellation up to 639,499 of its common shares over the twelve-month period ending December 14, 2012. As at March 31, 2012, the Company had repurchased no shares under the current normal course issuer bid. The number of shares outstanding as at March 31, 2012 and as at April 25, 2012 was 12,789,978.

Seasonality and Commodity Variability

The Company experiences seasonal variations in volumes. Historically, volume is strongest in the second and third fiscal quarters when colder weather increases demand for feed. Certain of the raw materials comprising the Company's products incorporate commodities. Fluctuating commodity prices may therefore influence revenues and the associated cost of sales as the Company's selling prices are adjusted to reflect current commodity markets.

Selected Quarterly Financial Information (i)

(US$ millions except per share data) Fiscal First Second Third Fourth
Year Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter
Revenue 2012 156.5 177.2 167.3
2011 127.5 159.3 154.2 146.5
2010 135.7 150.0 141.6 120.3
Net earnings (loss) (before exceptions (ii) net of income taxes). 2012 0.9 4.0 5.3
2011 1.6 4.9 3.4 (0.4 )
2010 1.1 5.0 2.5 (1.5 )
Net earnings (loss) 2012 0.7 4.0 4.0
2011 1.6 4.9 3.4 (0.4 )
2010 1.1 5.0 2.5 (3.9 )
Net earnings (loss) per share (EPS) 2012 0.06 0.31 0.30
2011 0.13 0.38 0.27 (0.04 )
2010 0.08 0.37 0.19 (0.28 )
(i) Financial information presented above for all quarters of fiscal 2010 was prepared in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Fiscal 2012 and 2011 were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards.
(ii) Exceptions include asset impairment loss, restructuring charges, and loss on sale of facilities.

Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

The Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have each signed form 52-109F2 - Certification of Interim Filings and filed it with the appropriate securities regulators in Canada in compliance with National Instrument 52-109: Certification of Disclosure in Issuers' Annual and Interim Filings issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators. There has been no change in Ridley's internal controls over financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures that occurred during the most recent interim period that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, Ridley's internal control over financial reporting.

Forward-Looking Information

This report contains "forward-looking" information. The forward-looking information includes statements concerning Ridley's outlook for the future as well as other statements of beliefs, plans and strategies or anticipated events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, contemplated or implied by, such statements. These risks and uncertainties include the ability to make effective acquisitions and successfully integrate newly acquired businesses into existing operations, the availability and prices of raw materials and supplies, livestock disease, product pricing, the competitive environment and related market conditions, operating efficiencies, access to capital, the cost of compliance with environmental and health standards and other regulatory requirements affecting Ridley's business, adverse results from ongoing litigation, and actions of domestic and foreign governments. Other risks are outlined in the Risk Management section of the MD&A included in Ridley's Annual Report. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities law, Ridley disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise this information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Ridley cautions readers not to place undue reliance upon forward-looking statements.

OUTLOOK

Long term growth in global demand for agricultural products will be favourable to livestock and poultry production in Canada and the United States, but volatility in commodity markets continues to be a factor in Ridley's near-term results. From their peak in the summer of 2011, generally falling feed ingredient prices were unfavourable to Ridley's product margins for the first half of fiscal 2012. However, an upward trend in ingredient prices since December 2011 contributed to an increase in Ridley's unit margins and gross profits in the third quarter. Feed ingredient prices remain exceptionally volatile by historical standards and there is no certainty that the positive effects from the trends indicated in the current quarter will extend to subsequent periods. In response to the uncertainties of this environment, Ridley continues to focus on improving its competitive strengths and value to customers. Initiatives are in progress to improve operating efficiencies using lean manufacturing techniques and to better utilize information technology in logistics and customer service. Ridley continues to develop opportunities in growing lifestyle markets and higher-value-added products that tend to be more stable in market demand.

Ridley Inc., headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota and Winnipeg, Manitoba, is one of North America's leading commercial animal nutrition companies. Ridley employs more than 800 people in the United States and Canada in the manufacture, sales and marketing of a full range of animal nutrition products under highly regarded trade names. Ridley's common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange (trading symbol: RCL). Additional information, including the notes to the interim financial statements and Ridley's Annual Information Form (AIF), are available at www.sedar.com. Visit our website at www.ridleyinc.com.

Contact Information

  • RIDLEY Inc.
    Steve VanRoekel
    President and CEO
    (507) 388-9412

    RIDLEY Inc.
    Gordon Hildebrand
    Chief Financial Officer
    (507) 388-9577