ROUGEMONT, Que. – Fruit and vegetable drink maker Lassonde Industries says its net profit attributable to shareholders decreased 5.9 per cent to $16.55 million in the fourth quarter, despite growth in sales.
The Quebec company earned $2.37 per share for the period ended Dec. 31, compared with $2.52 per share a year earlier when its net income was $17.6 million.
Revenues were $283.5 million, up 2.2 per cent from $277.3 million a year earlier, the company said Friday.
For the full year, Lassonde (TSX:LAS.A) earned $44.9 million or $6.43 per share. That compared with $44.2 million or $6.32 per share in 2012. Revenues were up 1.8 per cent to above $1 billion.
Chairman and CEO Pierre-Paul Lassonde said the company will take the necessary steps to protect its position as competition has been heating up due to lower North American fruit juice sales last year.
Lassonde says competitive pressure is continuing because its main rivals are looking to boost juice sales to offset lower soft drink sales.
Lassonde, which employs some 2,000 people at 14 plants across Canada and the United States, develops, manufactures and sells a wide range of fruit and vegetable juices and drinks marketed under brands such as Everfresh, Fairlee, Flavur, Fruite, Graves, Oasis and Rougemont. It is also the second-largest producer of store brand ready-to-drink fruit juices and drinks in the United States.