Legumex Walker expects U.S. plant output to grow

Legumex Walker achieved a new milestone in its second quarter of 2014.


“This is the first real net income after tax that we’ve earned,” said company president Joel Horn.


“This quarter was our best yet.”


The Canadian pulse, special crops and canola processing firm posted $1.9 million of net earnings, compared to a loss of $8.7 million for the same quarter in 2013.


The company generated $6.6 million of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the three-month period ending June 30, 2014, compared to a loss of $3.2 million a year ago.


Horn emphasized the results were achieved with the company’s Pacific Coast Canola crushing facility operating at only 53 percent of its capacity.


“Production continued to be constrained by availability of feedstock due to lingering congestion in the rail system,” he said.


But if July’s results are any indication the company may have turned the corner. The plant operated at 92 percent of its capacity that month, crushing 29,000 tonnes of seed.


Horn said that was due to im-proved inbound rail service, an expanded trucking program and the beginning of the new crop harvest in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States where the plant is located.


He believes the Warden, Washington, plant has the potential to generate as much EBITDA as the entire special crops division if it can continue operating at those levels.


The special crops division had its best quarter to date for sales with 119,200 tonnes of shipments that generated a record $6.6 million in EBITDA.


Horn warned there could be a slowdown in third quarter sales for special crops.


“We can see some variance in processing volumes in the third quarter due to the timing of the harvest and access to new crop as the availability of old crop shrinks,” he said.