American Lorain Corporation Reports Results for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year, 2009


JUNAN COUNTY, ChinaMarch 29 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — American Lorain Corporation(NYSE: ALN) (“American Lorain” or the “Company”), an international processed snack foods, convenience foods, and frozen foods company based in the Shandong ProvinceChina, today announced its fourth quarter and full year financial results for the year ended December 31, 2009.

    Fourth Quarter 2009 Highlights
    -- Revenue for the fourth quarter 2009 was $62.9 million, up 11.0% versus
       prior year.
    -- Operating income was $9.4 million, up 9.1% versus prior year.
    -- Net income was $6.3 million, a decrease of 1.5% versus prior year.
    -- EPS was $0.24 for the quarter ended December 31, 2009

    Fiscal Year 2009 Highlights:
    -- Revenue was $146.8 million, up 10.9% from the year ended December 31,
       2008; Company results fall in line with preannounced 2009 revenues of
       $146 million to $148 million.
    -- Operating income was $22.6 million, up 8.0% from the previous year.
    -- Net income was $14.4 million, a decrease of 2.0% versus prior year;
       Company results fall in line with preannounced 2009 net income of
       $14.4 million to $14.8 million.
    -- EPS was $0.55

“During 2009, we were able to innovate by developing and launching new products, expand our production capacity, grow our customer base and adopt new distribution and marketing strategies, which has laid a foundation for future growth opportunities. Despite a challenging year for food manufacturers in China and particularly those with export exposure, we were able to generate modest growth for the year while positioning the company to grow at a faster rate in 2010,” concluded Chairman Si Chen.

Fourth Quarter 2009 Results

Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2008 reached $62.9, an increase of 11.0% over the same period prior year, with the growth driven by sales of Lorain(R)-branded convenient foods which accounted for 26.2% of total revenues versus 16.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008. Throughout the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company accelerated the number of new retail points added to its sales network, increasing the total number of new stores by 67% from approximately 2100 on September 30, 2009 to approximately 3,500 on December 31, 2009.

Gross profits for the quarter were $13.1 million, a decrease of 8.0% versus the same period in 2008. The decrease in gross profits was attributed to higher raw material costs and a decline in export sales and revenues generated by American Lorain's international distribution base to 42 countries. Gross margins were 22.4% compared to 23.5% in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 2008, respectively.

Operating income for the quarter increased 9.1% to $9.4 million versus $8.6 million the same period prior year, with operating margins of 15.5% and 15.8% for the fourth quarter of 2009 and 2008, respectively. Sales, marketing and general and administrative expenses for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $3.7 million, a decrease of 33.9% from the prior period.

Net income for the quarter was $6.3 million, a reduction of 1.5% versus the same period prior year. In 2009, American Lorain's blended tax rate was 21.6% for the year versus a blended tax rate of 16.1% the Company maintained through 2008. Earnings per share were $0.24 based on 26.3 million diluted shares versus $0.25 in the fourth quarter of 2008 based on 25.3 million diluted shares.

Fiscal Year 2009 Results

American Lorain met its preannounced revenue goal of $146.0 to $148.0 million for the 2009 year by reporting $146.8 million in net revenues, up 10.9% from $132.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. American Lorain's convenience food product line, which features ready-to-eat (RTE) and ready-to-cook (RTC) foods, was a focus segment for 2009 and yielded revenues of $34.6 million, an $8.9 million or 34.5% increase, year over year. Convenience food sales as a percentage of overall revenues increased to 23.6% for 2009 versus 19.4% in 2008. Chestnut-based snack foods and products remain the largest contributor of revenues for American Lorain as approximately 60.7% of American Lorain revenues are generated from the sales of its more than 50 varieties of chestnut-based products. Sales for the chestnut segment increased 7.3% to $89.1 million in 2009 from $83.0 million in 2008. American Lorain's frozen food segment contributed $23.0 million in sales for the year, a decrease of 2.4%. In 2009, American Lorain deployed a strategy to reduce its sales and marketing efforts on lower-margin frozen foods to focus more resources on higher margin chestnut and convenience food products.

American Lorain maintains a diverse network of customers throughout 26 provinces in China and 42 countries around the world. In 2009, 70.5% of the Company's sales were generated from its 36 sales offices in China who sell Lorain-branded products to more than 3,500 retail points in China. 29.5% of American Lorain's revenues are generated from its sales to 42 countries. Key markets in Asia including Japan and South Korea accounted for 79.7% of the Company's export sales. Secondary markets in Europe, the Middle East and North America accounted for the remaining 20.3% of export sales revenues.

Costs of goods sold were $114.1 million, an increase of 12.7% year over year. The increase in costs of goods sold is attributable to the overall increases in revenues during 2009 and higher raw material costs. Gross profits increased 5.0% to $32.7 million for the period ended December 31, 2009. Gross profit margins were 22.3% versus 23.5% in the corresponding period. Operating income totaled $22.6 million in 2009, an 8.0% increase from $20.9 million in the previous year. The Company's operating margin was 15.4% compared to 15.8% in the prior year.

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2009 was $14.4 million, a 2.0% decrease from $14.7 million during 2008. Net margins were 9.8% and 11.1% for 2009 and 2008, respectively. Earnings per share were $0.55 compared to $0.58 per diluted share for the 2009 and 2008 year ended December 31, 2008, respectively, and based on 26.3 million and 25.2 million diluted shares outstanding for reach respective year. As a result of tax law changes in China, the Company's income tax rate increased to a blended tax rate of 21.6% versus 16.1% in the same period, 2008.

“2009 was one of our most challenging years as we addressed a very uncertain global environment while implementing strategies that allow us to focus more resources on our core products and high-growth areas in our business,” continued Si Chen, Chairman and CEO of American Lorain. “Our bean product line has received very favorable market acceptance during its launch as evidenced by increased month over month sales in 2009 and 2010. An advertising program featuring a well known movie and entertainment artist in Asia, Su Youpeng, has been very well received in market and we anticipate our various bean products will become a leader in our convenience food product segment. We continue to work with more local distributors and agents to help speed the delivery of our goods to new market places as we pursue meaningful 'Greenfield' opportunities. We are confident that both these initiatives will help us meet our guidance for the 2010 year and drive future growth,” Chairman Si Chen concluded.

Financial Condition

As of December 31, 2009, the Company had $12.1 million in cash versus $2.8 million at the end of 2008. Working capital was $49.9 million, up from $23.9 million as of December 31, 2008. Accounts receivable were $23.0 million, compared to $25.3 million as of December 31, 2008, with corresponding DSO's in 2009 decreasing to 57 days versus 70 days the same period 2008. Current liabilities were $46.8 million compared to $39.7 million and shareholder's equity was $94.7 million, a 40.3% increase from $67.5 million as of December 31, 2008. The Company has $35.5 million in short term loans on December 31, 2009 with a weighted average interest rate of 7.0%, which is used for working capital requirements during the year.

    2009 and Recent Highlights
    -- In October of 2009, the Company completed a private placement
       transaction which yielded $12 million in proceeds. The capital was
       earmarked for marketing and advertising initiatives for the chestnut
       and convenience foods product lines and working capital needs.
    -- In January of 2010, American Lorain announced shelf placements for its
       chestnut products to two marquee supermarket chains in China; Watson
       Group of 300 convenience stores and approximately 100 Jiadeli(R)
       supermarkets stores in China.
    -- On January 29, 2010 the Company filed an S-3 registration statement for
       $100.0 million for working capital and future expansion capital needs.
    -- In February of 2010, American Lorain announced it has surpassed more
       than 3,500 retail point locations in China and targeted 5,000 retail
       locations by the end of 2010
    -- In March of 2010, American Lorain attended the Hostex Food Show in
       Japan where it launched several new products to this important export
       market for the Company.

2010 Guidance

American Lorain has provided 2010 guidance of $182.0 to $190.0 million in revenues or 24.1% – 29.5% organic growth for the year. The Company also provided net income guidance of $17.8 – $19.0 million in net income which will represent 23.6% – 31.9% growth year over year.

About American Lorain Corporation

American Lorain Corporation is a Nevada corporation that develops, manufactures and sells various food products. The Company's products include chestnut products, convenience food products and frozen food products. The Company currently sells over 230 products to 26 provinces and administrative regions in China as well as to 42 foreign countries. The Company operates through its four direct and indirect subsidiaries and one leased factory located in China. For further information about American Lorain Corporation, please visit the Company's website at .

Forward-looking statements:

Statements contained herein that relate to the Company's future performance, including statements with respect to forecasted revenues, margins, cash generation and capital expenditures are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those anticipated. Such statements are based on current expectations only, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to materially differ include: general business and economic conditions, particularly the current downturn in the worldwide economy; our ability to obtain adequate supplies of raw materials; our ability to manage our expansion strategy; changes in foreign currency exchange rates; government regulation; difficulties in new product development; changing consumer tastes in disparate markets worldwide and our ability to address those changes; our ability to attract and retain highly qualified personnel; and other factors affecting our operations that are set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

    For more information, please contact:

    For the Company:
     American Lorain Corporation
     Alan Jin, CFO
     Tel:   +86-539-731-7959

    Investor Relations:
     John Mattio, SVP
     HC International, New York
     Tel:   +1-203-616-5144


    AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2009 AND 2008
    (Stated in US Dollars)

                                                   2009              2008
     Current assets
      Cash and cash equivalents                $12,111,532        $2,841,339
      Restricted cash                            1,299,889         3,715,998
      Short-term investment                      7,320,248           113,069
      Trade accounts receivable                 23,025,772        25,293,326
      Other receivables                          7,837,675         5,107,719
      Related party receivable                     603,116                --
      Inventory                                 26,400,117        24,827,922
      Advance to suppliers                      16,938,872           415,009
      Prepaid expenses and taxes                   905,266         1,228,648
      Deferred tax asset                           199,867                --
        Total current assets                   $96,642,354       $63,543,030

      Property, plant and equipment, net        41,280,407        40,201,686
      Land use rights, net                       3,871,547         3,950,927
      Deposit                                       16,088                --
    TOTAL ASSETS                              $141,810,396      $107,695,643

     Current liabilities
      Short-term bank loans                    $35,488,212       $14,414,996
      Notes payable                                     --         5,208,485
      Accounts payable                           2,614,515         6,072,883
      Taxes payable                              2,235,341         2,926,793
      Accrued liabilities and other
       payables                                  6,422,492        10,291,237
      Customers deposits                            13,842           748,732
        Total current liabilities              $46,774,402       $39,663,126

    Long-term bank loans                           294,873           576,975

    TOTAL LIABILITIES                          $47,069,275       $40,240,101

                                             12/31/2009           12/31/2008

      Preferred Stock, $.001 par value,
       5,000,000 shares authorized; 0
       shares issued and outstanding at
       December 31, 2009 and 2008                    --                   --
      Common stock, $0.001 par value,
       200,000,000 shares authorized;
       30,240,202 and 25,172,640 shares
       issued and outstanding as of
       December 31, 2009 and 2008,
       respectively                              30,240               25,172
      Additional paid-in capital             35,268,603           24,187,019
      Statutory reserves                      8,895,477            5,438,723
      Retained earnings                      38,455,349           27,503,991
      Accumulated other comprehensive
       income                                 6,068,569            5,178,616
      Non-controlling interests               6,022,883            5,122,021
                                            $94,741,121          $67,455,542

     STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                  $141,810,396         $107,695,643

    (Stated in US Dollars)

                                                  2009               2008

    Net revenues                             $146,772,442       $132,360,317
    Cost of revenues                         (114,064,067)      (101,213,340)
    Gross profit                              $32,708,375        $31,146,977

    Operating expenses
    Selling and marketing expenses             (6,454,953)        (6,166,248)
    General and administrative expenses        (3,646,815)        (4,047,988)
                                              (10,101,768)       (10,214,236)

    Operating income                          $22,606,607        $20,932,741

    Government subsidy income                     355,656            328,687
    Interest income                                73,186             99,411
    Other income                                  175,117            251,317
    Other expenses                               (327,281)          (161,726)
    Interest expense                           (3,351,606)        (2,769,597)
                                               (3,074,928)        (2,251,908)

    Earnings before tax                       $19,531,679        $18,680,833

    Income tax                                 (4,222,705)        (3,003,265)

    Net income                                $15,308,974        $15,677,568

    Net income attributable to:
    - Common stockholders                      14,408,112         14,703,378
    - Non-controlling interests                   900,862            974,190
                                               15,308,974         15,677,568

    Earnings per share
    - Basic                                         $0.55              $0.58
    - Diluted                                        0.55               0.58

    Weighted average shares outstanding
    - Basic                                    26,075,413         25,172,640
    - Diluted                                  26,264,794         25,172,640

    (Stated in US Dollars)

                                                      2009           2008
    Cash flows from operating activities
    Net income                                     15,308,974    $15,677,568
       Stock and share based compensation             166,398             --
       Depreciation                                 1,270,783      1,273,935
       Amortization                                   202,539        158,428
       (Increase)/decrease in accounts & other
        receivables                                (1,800,407)     9,802,709
       (Increase)/decrease in inventories          (1,572,195)    (6,924,578)
       (Increase)/decrease in prepayments         (16,200,484)     4,631,069
       Decrease/(increase) in deferred tax
        asset                                        (199,867)            --
       Prior year adjustment                               --       (244,135)
       Increase/(decrease) in accounts and
        other payables                             (8,018,565)    (4,866,556)
       Net cash (used in)/provided by
        Operating activities                     $(10,842,825)    $19,508,440

    Cash flows from investing activities
      Purchase of plant and equipment              (1,868,300)   (13,928,921)
      Payment of construction in progress            (481,203)    (3,524,520)
      Decrease/(increase) in restricted cash        2,416,109     (1,694,159)
      Payments for the purchase of land use
       rights                                        (123,157)    (1,062,334)
      Payments for rental deposit                     (16,088)            --
      Purchase of land for short-term investment   (7,312,935)            --
      Sales/(purchase) of securities                  105,756       (105,823)
      Net cash used in investing activities       $(7,279,819)  $(20,315,757)

    Cash flows from financing activities
      Issue of common stock                        10,920,254             --
      Payment of notes                             (5,208,485)            --
      Proceeds from notes                                  --      2,474,041
      Proceeds from bank borrowings                73,132,782        474,433
      Repayment of bank borrowings                (52,341,668)    (9,662,508)
      Net cash provided by/(used in)
       financing activities                       $26,502,883    $(6,714,034)

    Net in cash and cash equivalents
    (used)/sourced                                  8,380,239     (7,521,351)

    Effect of foreign currency translation on
     cash and cash equivalents                        889,953      3,592,717

    Cash and cash equivalents-beginning of
     year                                           2,841,339      6,769,973

    Cash and cash equivalents-end of year         $12,111,532     $2,841,339

    Supplementary cash flow information:
    Interest received                                  73,186         99,411
    Interest paid                                   3,351,606      2,769,597
    Income taxes paid                              $4,174,385     $3,003,265

SOURCE American Lorain Corporation