George Weston to hike prices on some fresh and frozen foods due to loonie

TORONTO -- George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN), the parent company of Weston Foods and Loblaw, will raise prices on some of its food products this year to help protect it from a weak loonie.

See Full Article

The company anticipates raising prices on products from its fresh and frozen businesses, president and CEO Pavi Binning told a conference call with investors after the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings Thursday.

The increases will help to cover the impact of the low Canadian dollar, he said. The loonie has recently been trading at around 74 cents US and is anticipated to remain low throughout much of 2016.

"That will hurt us and that will be pretty significant in 2016," he said, explaining the company buys certain ingredients in U.S. dollars.

The drop in the loonie has been a key driver for inflation in Canada as it has pushed the costs of imported goods like fresh fruits and vegetables higher.

Overall, George Weston earned $138 million in the fourth quarter, or $1.08 per share. That compared with a profit of $151 million or $1.18 per share in the fourth quarter of 2014, which included an extra week.

Excluding the extra week in the year ago quarter, the company would have earned $122 million or 95 cents per share.

Sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31, totalled $11.25 billion in 2015 and $11.73 billion in 2014 over 13 weeks or $10.92 billion over 12 weeks.

Weston Foods' frozen business reached double-digit volume gains in the last fiscal year, Binning said, led by demand for doughnuts and pies.

In addition to its frozen business, Weston Foods biscuit business -- led by Girl Guide cookies -- helped its bakery business earn $527 million in revenue in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the bakery business earned $469 million in revenue over 13 weeks or $438 million over 12 weeks.

Excluding the impact of foreign currency and an extra week in its 2014 financial year, Weston Food sales increased by 10 per cent, primarily due to higher prices, a different mix of products and an increase in volumes.


Latest Economic News

  • Can Facebook restore public trust after privacy scandal?

    Economic CTV News
    CHICAGO -- It's a scandal of privacy, politics and an essential ingredient of business success -- public trust. Facebook is confronting a costly, embarrassing public relations debacle after revelations that Cambridge Analytica may have misused data from some 50 million users to try to influence elections. Source
  • China tells U.S. it will defend interests after Trump tariffs

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING -- China's newly appointed economic czar told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday that Beijing is ready to defend its interests after U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to slap tariffs on nearly US$50 billion in Chinese imports. Source
  • The biggest loser in a trade war between China and the U.S.? It's you (but don't worry about it)

    Economic CBC News
    The old adage tells us no one wins a trade war. So, the next logical question is: Who loses? Well, the short answer is — you do. Consumers have been the clear beneficiaries of globalization. Cheap stuff has flooded into North America at a historically unprecedented rate. Source
  • What's being done with your data: Experts ask, shouldn't someone get this under control?

    Economic CBC News
    Now that Facebook, Google and Amazon know pretty much everything about us, how they're using that information is drawing the focus of politicians throughout the Western world, asking in effect: "Shouldn't something be done about this?" Source
  • Bombardier executive compensation hits US$33.4 million in 2017

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Bombardier's executive compensation rose seven per cent to US$33.4 million in 2017, according to a circular released ahead of the company's May 3 annual meeting. The increase comes after a year marked by improved results, but also by the Airbus takeover of the C Series program without the company having to pay a single cent. Source
  • U.S. sets May 1 tariff threat on Canada, Mexico amid rush to speed up NAFTA talks

    Economic CBC News
    The United States has just applied additional pressure in its rush to get a new NAFTA agreement within several weeks, establishing a May 1 deadline, after which Canada and Mexico would face tariffs on steel and aluminum. Source
  • United Airlines gives $10,000 voucher to traveller on overbooked flight

    Economic CBC News
    A passenger who was bumped off a full flight has scored the maximum prize — a $10,000 US travel voucher. A spokesperson for United Airlines confirmed Friday that a passenger got the big voucher, but he didn't name the person. Source
  • Canadian retailers could be boosted by a U.S. trade battle with China

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs on up to US$60 billion of Chinese imports could help Canadian retailers by further easing cross-border shopping, even though a full-fledged trade war between the world's two economic superpowers would damage Canada's economy, experts say. Source
  • CRA audits just 5 Canadians out of hundreds of RBC Panama Papers accounts

    Economic CBC News
    Two years after it took aim at hundreds of Royal Bank clients exposed in the Panama Papers leak, the Canada Revenue Agency has decided just five cases require an audit. That's because most of the offshore accounts it unearthed ended up belonging to foreigners, the CRA says. Source
  • Manulife mix-up: $170K retirement nest egg transferred from account without warning

    Economic CTV News
    A Toronto woman’s retirement nest egg was transferred out of her RRSP account after Manulife Financial wired more than $170,000 to a foreign third-party stock transfer company, putting the funds in limbo amid an ongoing spat with the financial services giant. Source