REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — Alliance Grain Traders Inc. (AGT) reported on May 13 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the first quarter of C$17.1 million, up from C$13.6 million reported in the same period a year ago.

EBITDA as a percentage of revenue increased to 5.49%, compared to 4.91% for the same quarter last year. 

Revenue was C$311.3 million in the first quarter, compared to C$276.4 million in the first quarter of 2014. 

"We feel this is a strong start to 2014 in our business that builds off the positives in 2013. Our food ingredient and packaged food segment continues to track positive progress towards demonstrating its growth potential and earnings. We have completed commissioning on the second line at Minot with commercial production ramping up as we expected. Our sales programs, both with our partners and through our global sales system, are developing as we expected they would, with customer interest in our proteins and fibers and increasingly in our high viscosity flours and starch products. As well, we are working to develop synergistic trade opportunities between our operations globally to assist in maximizing sales opportunities in all segments, which we expect may positively impact our capacity utilization globally and therefore our margins and earnings," said Murad Al-Katib, president and chief executive officer of AGT. 

"Our legacy business continues to build on the recovery we saw in 2013, driven by improved results from our operations in Turkey and, of course, Canada. With margins and volumes in this segment tracking as per our expectations, we believe we may see further improvement in 2014. Farmers in Canada and the U.S. are getting ready for seeding. We expect another strong pulse production season that will add to the relatively average levels of global supply, but the estimated seeding intentions can change at this time of year. Transportation issues are being monitoring carefully, as all participants in the agribusiness supply chain, from Government to agri-exporters to the carriers and port operators, appear to be working together to assist in clearing the backlog of shipments created during the quarter and help Western Canadian farmers and exporters move their products to market.”