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UPDATE: Legumex Walker Drops 1% As Turns To Q4 Net Loss; Sells and Ships First Food-Grade Canola Oil Ahead of Schedule

Legumex Walker Inc. (LWP.TO), with a year low $4.61, reported net loss attributable to shareholders for the fourth quarter of $5.4 million, or $0.34 per share, compared with net earnings attributable to shareholders of $1.9 million, or $0.15 per share, for the same period of 2011. Revenues of $104.0 million compared with $62.4 million for the same period of 2011. On March 19, 2013, PCC completed the commissioning of the deodorizer and sold and shipped its first refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) food-grade canola oil ahead of schedule.

"Fiscal 2012 was a year of substantial investment and achievement in building our organization, highlighted by three acquisitions, the expansion of our Chinese operations and putting our canola processing facility into service," said CEO Joel Horn. "Our investments in facilities, technology and people have significantly diversified our products and geography while expanding our earnings potential considerably.

"While we are confident that our accomplishments in 2012 will drive meaningful shareholder value, especially over the next several years, these investments impacted our financial performance in the short term. In the fourth quarter, while we saw overall volumes improve, profitability was impacted by low commodity margins particularly on Edible Beans, the result of a confluence of factors, including bean inventory and contractual obligations attached to the St. Hilaire acquisition and compounded by a sharp decline in prices late in the year, as well as a dry crop and cold weather, both of which impacted the quality of our product. The diversification of our products, sourcing and processing should minimize the impact that such factors have on our overall business going forward.

"We entered 2012 with eight processing facilities and approximately 300,000 metric tonnes of capacity, about 80% of which was concentrated in our Lentil and Pea Division. We ended the year with 15 facilities and approximately 875,000 metric tons of processing capacity that is over 40% Canola and less than 30% Lentils and Peas. Adding these additional products increases our diversification into higher margin products. For example, average 2012 commodity margins from our Pea, Lentil and Canaryseed Division were $68 per tonne while average margins from our Edible Bean and Sunflower, Flax and Birdfood Divisions were $134 per tonne and $125 per tonne, respectively. We're also making quick progress to increase the efficiency in our Pea, Lentil and Canaryseed Division to sustain and enhance margins in 2013. On top of this, commissioning of the PCC facility is progressing well and we will begin to benefit from its contribution as we ramp to commercial level production of food-grade canola oil, expected by mid-year. By 2014, PCC will be well positioned to realize the full potential of our efforts."

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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