Maple Leaf Foods still working to recover from outage caused by cyberattack

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is still working to restore operations after being hit by a cyberattack over the weekend, the company said Tuesday.

Chief executive Michael McCain said all facilities ran on Monday but problems remain as their business continuity teams figure out process-by-process manual workarounds, while both the team and the company's IT division work to recover the integrity of the system.

"I don't think we ran optimally for sure. On day one, I can guarantee that. But we all walked away from our calls last night thinking how impressed we were with how much they got done in the matter of one day," said McCain on an earnings call.

He didn't go into detail on what functions were hit worse than others, but said the disruption was "comprehensive," while noting they do have workarounds.

"This is not something that is unexpected in industry today, as much as it's a scourge of modern technology, but I feel very confident in the team of people that we have in place to ensure the continuity of the business."

Chief financial officer Geert Verellen said a full resolution of the outage will take some time and result in some operational service disruptions, and that the company will work through the issues with customers and vendors.

He said the company had a third-quarter loss of $229.5 million as it took a one-time charge related to the value of its plant protein business.

The company said the loss amounted to $1.86 per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a profit of $44.5 million or 36 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Maple Leaf said its most recent quarter included a $190.9-million one-time non-cash impairment charge related to its plant protein group and a $31.5-million decrease in the fair value of biological assets.

On an adjusted basis, Maple Leaf said it lost a penny per share in its latest quarter compared with an adjusted profit of 38 cents per share in the same quarter last year as a result of weaker commercial performance due to inflation and labour challenges.

Sales in the quarter totalled $1.23 billion, up from $1.19 billion in the third quarter of 2021.

The company said the increase was driven by higher sales in its meat protein group, partially offset by lower sales in the plant protein group.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.

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The Canadian Press