Maple Leaf Foods Inc. says expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will increase costs in the second quarter, in an April 29, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Maple Leaf Foods says pandemic costs will add up to $20 million to Q2 expenses

TORONTO — Maple Leaf Foods Inc. says increased expenses associated with dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic will add up to $20 million to its costs in the second quarter.

The company says the extra spending includes increased labour, personal protective equipment, sanitation and other expenses. It says it’s working to partially mitigate the expenses through other savings.

Maple Leaf made the update to its outlook as it reported a first-quarter loss of $3.7 million or three cents per share compared with a profit of $50.1 million or 41 cents per share a year ago.

The company says the loss came as it made strategic investments in plant protein and saw a $36.7-million impact to earnings from non-cash fair value changes in biological assets and derivative contracts driven by depressed market prices for hogs.

On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf says its operating earnings amounted to $45.1 million or 21 cents per share for the quarter, up from $42.1 million or 20 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Sales in the first three months of 2020 totalled $1.02 billion, up from $907.1 million in the first quarter of 2019.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2020.

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