Business Watch

Winnipeg Free Press, October 26, 2012 | Go to article overview

Business Watch


Winnipeg one smart city

FOR the third year in a row, Winnipeg has made it on the top 21 list of smart cities as chosen by the Intelligent Community Forum.

It was one of four Canadian cities, and seven from North America, of the 300 cities that submitted entries.

Among other things, the program considers the relationship between innovation and employment in communities around the world with emphasis on collaboration, leadership and sustainability.

Marina James, the CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg, said the city gets involved in a program such as this because it's important to guage its performance on the world stage.

"This is not about Economic Development Winnipeg, it's about identifying what type of collaborations are going on in the community, then saying here is what we are doing and how do we measure up," she said. "And I think we measure up quite well."

The submission flags a number of collaborations that show how the city is homing in on the areas that can produce the best results.

Institutions highlighted include the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, TRLabs, the Composites Innovation Centre, the Eureka Project and Biomedical Commercialization Canada.

Cangene's net loss $28.3M

IN fiscal 2012, Cangene Corporation experienced "significant challenges and changes" in the words of its CEO.

That meant a net loss of $28.3 million and a 26 per cent decline in revenue to $111 million.

John Sedor said, "Our financial performance does not yet reflect the solid progress we've made. We reorganized our workforce and made key changes to our senior leadership team... and we recreated an entrepreneurial culture that sets the stage for future growth."

The decrease in revenue is largely attributable to $32.8-million lower product-services revenue on its U.S. government anthrax immune globulin contract.

Net loss for the current year of $28.3 million compares with net income of $1.5 million in the prior year. The net loss in 2012 results largely from a combination of lower revenue and gross profit on contract services and lower gross profit on biopharmaceutical product sales.

Shares closed up five cents to $1.65.

Winpak's Q3 profit rises

PLASTIC-packaging manufacturer Winpak Ltd. has racked up a quarter of double-digit profit growth after spinning its wheels earlier in the year.

The Winnipeg-based firm reported an 18.5 per cent increase in profit for the third quarter, which ended on Sept. 30.

Net earnings attributable to shareholders grew to $17.1 million, or 26 cents per share, from $14.5 million (22 cents per share) a year earlier.

That was a marked improvement from the second quarter, when the sluggish U.S. economy and increased competition kept net earnings virtually unchanged from a year earlier.

The strong showing was achieved in spite of a $5.3-million (3.1 per cent) drop in revenue for the quarter -- $165.4 million versus $170.7 million.

Winpak CEO Bruce Berry said the weaker revenues were mainly due to lower selling prices. He said Winpak's prices are indexed to the cost of the raw materials it uses, and those costs were down during the quarter.

He said a number of factors contributed to the stronger net earnings, including better gross profit margins, a lower income tax rate and a favourable foreign exchange rate.

The company also sold its drink-cup product line during the third quarter. Berry said the line, which operated out of its Toronto plant, wasn't a strong performer and the company wanted to focus its resources on more profitable and more sophisticated product lines. He said the sale did not have a significant impact on net earnings.

The strong Q3 showing left earnings running 10.5 per cent ahead of last year's pace after the first nine months -- $50 million, or 77 cents per share, versus $$45.3 million, or 70 cents per share. …

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