VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–LEADING BRANDS, INC. (NASDAQ: LBIX, TSX: LBI),
Canada’s largest independent, fully integrated premium beverage company, announces its financial results for the third quarter of its 2002 fiscal year ended February 28, 2003.
Revenue for the quarter ended November 30, 2002 rose to $16,996,000 Cdn
($10,791,000US) from $14,214,000Cdn ($8,926,000US) in the prior year, a gain of 20%. The net loss for the quarter was $668,000Cdn ($424,000US) or $0.05Cdn ($0.03US) per share versus net income of $86,000Cdn ($54,000US) or $0.01Cdn ($nil US) per share for the third quarter ending November 30, 2001.
Year to date revenues were $59,069,000Cdn ($37,782,000US), up from $51,368,000Cdn ($33,006,000US) last year. Net income for the nine months of the year was $1,614,000Cdn ($1,038,000US) versus $2,169,000Cdn / $1,404,000US) in the first three quarters of 2001.
The rise in quarterly revenue is almost equally attributable to increased
revenue from co-pack customers and sales of TREK(TM) Optimized Performance Beverages(TM) in the United States. Profitability for the quarter was impacted by increased SG&A costs of expanding into the United States market and corresponding introductory promotional programs for the Company’s major new products.
Leading Brands Chairman & CEO Ralph D. McRae said: “Although overall pleased with our continued growth and evolution as a company, I am disappointed with our results for this quarter. The past three months saw a number of important developments at Leading Brands: the launch of Pez(R) 100% Juices(TM), the introduction of TREK(TM) NITRO(TM), the signing of four significant new bottling agreements comprising 5.5 million new cases of production for fiscal 2003, a landmark licensing and marketing arrangement with Trek Bicycle Corporation, new listings for both TREK(TM) and Pez(TM) at a variety of chains, including 7-Eleven, Sunoco, Canada Safeway and Albertsons and new distribution across 25 US states.”
Mr. McRae continued: “Throughout the Summer and Fall we were gearing up to meet demand for TREK(TM). By the time our production capacity ncreased in November many new distributors pushed back launching to early 2003, rather than run into the year end Holidays. That slowed our expansion in the late Fall. With that issue now behind us, we are seeing increased demand in Q4, with more than 35 additional markets scheduled to come on line before the end of our fiscal year in February. As I reflect on the quarter, I believe that we have used that time to make a sound investment in our future.”
About Leading Brands, Inc.
Leading Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:LBIX, TSX:LBI) is the largest independent, fully integrated premium beverage company in Canada. The Company’s unique Integrated Distribution System (IDS) (TM) offers turnkey, one-stop shopping to food and beverage brand owners, including manufacturing, distribution, sales/marketing and licensing. In addition, Leading Brands produces their own line of beverages such as TREK(TM), Pez(R) 100% Juices(TM), Johnny’s Roadside(R) Iced Tea and Lemonade, Country Harvest(R) Juices, Caesar’s(R) Bloody Caesar Cocktail, and Cool Canadian(R) Water. Leading Brands recently undertook a major expansion into the United States, with its US headquarters located in Stamford, CT. Its subsidiary, Quick, Inc. is building a home replenishment and delivery system for the new economy.
Statements in this news release that are not historical are to be regarded as forward-looking statements which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Such risks and uncertainties with respect to the Company’s business include general economic conditions, weather conditions, changing beverage consumption trends, pricing, and the availability of raw materials and economic uncertainties, including currency.
We Build Brands(TM)
(C)2002 Leading Brands, Inc.
This news release is available at www.LBIX.com