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Andrew Peller Limited Reports Solid Results in Third Quarter Fiscal 2014

GRIMSBY, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/12/14 --

This news release contains forward-looking information that is based upon assumptions and is subject to risks and uncertainties as indicated in the cautionary note contained elsewhere in this news release.

Andrew Peller Limited (TSX:ADW.A)(TSX:ADW.B) ("APL" or the "Company") announced today its results for the three and nine months ended December 31, 2013.

FISCAL 2014 HIGHLIGHTS:


--  Continued sales growth across majority of trade channels primarily in
    our premium wine portfolio 
--  Gross margins impacted by intense price competition and increased raw
    material costs 
--  Selling and administrative expenses decrease due to restructuring
    initiative that began in Q4 of fiscal 2013 
--  High quality vintage 2013 grape crop largest in Company's history 
--  Cash flow from operating activities rises to $19.1 million through first
    nine months of year 
--  11% increase in common share dividends announced in June 2013 

"We were pleased with our performance through the busy holiday season as we generated solid sales growth in the majority of our established trade channels. We look for this growth to continue through the balance of the year," commented John Peller, President and CEO. "We are also seeing the benefits of a number of programs implemented to reduce costs and enhance efficiencies which we expect to result in increased profitability in the coming years."

Sales for the three months ended December 31, 2013 rose 2.6% to $81.9 million. The third quarter is historically the strongest of the year due to increased consumer purchases of the Company's products during the holiday season. For the first nine months of fiscal 2014 sales increased 2.8% to $231.8 million.

Gross margin was 36.0% of sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to 38.6% in the same period last year. For the nine months ended December 31, 2013 gross margin was 36.8% of sales compared to 38.6% in the same prior year period. Gross margins in fiscal 2014 have been affected by continued price competition in certain Western Canadian markets, higher costs for wine and juice purchased on international markets, and increased costs to expedite production to meet higher than anticipated demand for certain products during the third quarter. The decrease in gross margin was partially offset by successful cost control initiatives to reduce distribution, operating, and packaging expenses. A special levy implemented by the Ontario government on July 1, 2010 served to reduce sales and gross margin by approximately $1.5 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2013.

Selling and administrative expenses declined in the first nine months of fiscal 2014 due to the ongoing restructuring that began in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 in the Company's personal winemaking division. As a percentage of sales, selling and administrative expenses for the nine months ended December 31, 2013 improved to 23.9% from 25.1% last year.

Earnings before interest, amortization, unrealized derivative gains (losses), other expenses, and income taxes ("EBITA") were $11.4 million and $30.1 million for the three and nine months ended December 31, 2013 compared to $11.9 million and $30.4 million for the same periods in fiscal 2013.

Interest expense declined in fiscal 2014 due to lower debt levels resulting from improved management of working capital.

Through the first nine months of fiscal 2014 the Company incurred restructuring charges of $0.4 million in the personal winemaking division related to ongoing cost savings initiatives to outsource distribution and reduce marketing and administrative expenses.

The Company recorded a non-cash gain in the first nine months of fiscal 2014 related to mark-to-market adjustments on an interest rate swap and foreign exchange contracts aggregating approximately $0.5 million compared to a non-cash gain of $1.1 million in the prior year. The Company has elected not to apply hedge accounting and accordingly these financial instruments are reflected in the Company's financial statements at fair value each reporting period. These instruments are considered to be effective economic hedges and have enabled management to mitigate the volatility of changing costs and interest rates during the year.

Other expenses in fiscal 2014 relate primarily to pension liabilities incurred for prior service that were negotiated as part of the new collective agreement with the BC labour union signed in June 2013, partially offset by income from the expropriation of the Company's Port Moody facility which was closed effective December 31, 2005. The property is temporarily being used as a staging area for the construction of a rapid transit project. Payments amounting to $2.0 million for the use of the property were received in advance and were recorded as deferred income and are being recognized as other income over the five-year term of the expropriation, which began on July 1, 2012.

Adjusted net earnings, defined as net earnings not including restructuring charges, unrealized losses and gains on derivative financial instruments and other expenses or income, were $14.7 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2013 compared to $14.5 million in the prior year.

Net earnings for the three and nine months ended December 31, 2013 were $6.0 million or $0.43 per Class A Share and $14.6 million or $1.05 per Class A Share compared to $6.6 million or $0.47 per Class A Share and $15.5 million or $1.11 per Class A Share, respectively, for the comparable prior year periods. The reduction in net earnings in fiscal 2014 is primarily due to the decrease in gross margins, one-time restructuring charges, and the change in non-cash gains on derivative financial instruments and other income and expenses between the two fiscal years.

Strong Financial Position

Working capital at December 31, 2013 increased to $48.5 million compared to $41.7 million at March 31, 2013. Higher inventories and a decrease in bank indebtedness were partially offset by an increase in income taxes payable. The Company's debt to equity ratio was 0.71:1 at December 31, 2013 compared to 0.83:1 at March 31, 2013. Shareholders' equity as at December 31, 2013 was $141.5 million or $9.89 per common share compared to $129.7 million or $9.07 per common share as at March 31, 2013. The increase in shareholders' equity is due to solid net earnings for the year partially offset by the payment of dividends.

In the first nine months of fiscal 2014 the Company generated cash from operating activities, after changes in non- cash working capital items, of $19.1 million compared to $6.7 million in the prior year. Cash flow from operating activities increased due to strong earnings performance, lower income tax installments, and a smaller increase in non- cash working capital compared to the prior year.


Financial Highlights (Unaudited)                                            
(Condensed consolidated financial statements to follow)                     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
For the three and nine months                                               
 ended December 31,                      Three Months           Nine months 
(in $000)                             2013    2012(1)       2013    2012(1) 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sales                               81,854     79,813    231,798    225,557 
Gross margin                        29,475     30,801     85,376     87,108 
Gross margin (% of sales)             36.0%      38.6%      36.8%      38.6%
Selling and administrative                                                  
 expenses                           18,097     18,942     55,302     56,697 
EBITA                               11,378     11,859     30,074     30,411 
Restructuring charge                   254          -        353          - 
Unrealized gains on financial                                               
 instruments                          (252)      (683)      (519)    (1,079)
Other (income) expenses                (22)       214        242       (213)
Net earnings                         5,967      6,572     14,599     15,454 
Earnings per share - Class A     $    0.43  $    0.47  $    1.05  $    1.11 
Earnings per share - Class B     $    0.37  $    0.41  $    0.91  $    0.97 
Dividend per share - Class A                                                
 (annual)                                              $   0.400  $   0.360 
Dividend per share - Class B                                                
 (annual)                                              $   0.348  $   0.314 
Cash provided by operations                                                 
 (after changes in non-cash                                                 
 working capital items)                                   19,148      6,655 
Working capital                                           48,492     45,000 
Shareholders' equity per share                         $    9.89  $    9.18 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)  Amounts for the period ended December 31, 2012 were restated to reflect
     the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19. Please refer to Note 2 in the
     Notes to the Financial Statements for the period.                      

The Company calculates adjusted earnings as follows:


For the three and nine months ended                                         
 December 31, 2013 and 2012                  Three Months       Nine months 
(in $000)                                   2013  2012(1)     2013  2012(1) 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings                               5,967    6,572   14,599   15,454 
Restructuring costs                          254        -      353        - 
Net unrealized gains on derivatives         (252)    (683)    (519)  (1,079)
Other expenses (income)                      (22)     214      242     (213)
Income tax effect of the above                 5      122      (20)     336 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adjusted earnings                          5,952    6,225   14,655   14,498 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)  Amounts for the period ended December 31, 2012 were restated to reflect
     the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19. Please refer to Note 2 in the
     Notes to the Financial Statements for the period.                      

About Andrew Peller Ltd.

Andrew Peller Limited is a leading producer and marketer of quality wines in Canada. With wineries in British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, the Company markets wines produced from grapes grown in Ontario's Niagara Peninsula, British Columbia's Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, and from vineyards around the world. The Company's award-winning premium and ultra-premium VQA brands include Peller Estates, Trius, Hillebrand, Thirty Bench, Crush, Wayne Gretzky, Sandhill, Calona Vineyards Artist Series, and Red Rooster. Complementing these premium brands are a number of popularly priced varietal brands including Peller Estates French Cross in the East, Peller Estates Proprietors Reserve in the West, Copper Moon, XOXO, skinnygrape, Black Cellar and Verano. Hochtaler, Domaine D'Or, Schloss Laderheim, Royal, and Sommet are our key value priced brands. The Company imports wines from major wine regions around the world to blend with domestic wine to craft these popularly priced and value priced brands. With a focus on serving the needs of all wine consumers, the Company produces and markets premium personal winemaking products through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Global Vintners Inc., the recognized leader in personal winemaking products. Global Vintners distributes products through over 250 Winexpert and Wine Kitz authorized retailers and franchisees and more than 600 independent retailers across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and China. Global Vintners award-winning premium and ultra-premium winemaking brands include Selection, Vintners Reserve, Island Mist, KenRidge, Cheeky Monkey, Ultimate Estate Reserve, Traditional Vintage, and Cellar Craft. The Company owns and operates more 102 well-positioned independent retail locations in Ontario under The Wine Shop and Wine Country Vintners store names. The Company also owns Grady Wine Marketing Inc. based in Vancouver and The Small Winemaker's Collection Inc. based in Ontario; both of these wine agencies are importers of premium wines from around the world and are marketing agents for these fine wines. The Company has entered into an agreement to produce and market the Wayne Gretzky brands across Canada. The Company's products are sold predominantly in Canada with a focus on export sales for its icewine and personal winemaking products.

The Company utilizes EBITA (defined as earnings before interest, amortization, unrealized derivative (gain) loss, other expenses, and income taxes). EBITA is not a recognized measure under IFRS. Management believes that EBITA is a useful supplemental measure to net earnings, as it provides readers with an indication of cash available for investment prior to debt service, capital expenditures, and income taxes. Readers are cautioned that EBITA should not be construed as an alternative to net earnings determined in accordance with IFRS as an indicator of the Company's performance or to cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities as a measure of liquidity and cash flows. The Company also utilizes gross margin (defined as sales less cost of goods sold, excluding amortization) and adjusted earnings as defined above. The Company's method of calculating EBITA, gross margin, and adjusted earnings may differ from the methods used by other companies and, accordingly, may not be comparable to measures used by other companies.

Andrew Peller Limited common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbols ADW.A and ADW.B).

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Certain statements in this news release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including the "safe harbour provision" of the Securities Act (Ontario) with respect to Andrew Peller Limited and its subsidiaries. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the growth of the business in light of the Company's recent acquisitions; its launch of new premium wines; sales trends in foreign markets; its supply of domestically grown grapes; and current economic conditions. These statements are subject to certain risks, assumptions, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements. The words "believe", "plan", "intend", "estimate", "expect", or "anticipate" and similar expressions, as well as future or conditional verbs such as "will", "should", "would", and "could" often identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. With respect to forward-looking statements contained in this news release, the Company has made assumptions and applied certain factors regarding, among other things: future grape, glass bottle, and wine prices; its ability to obtain grapes, imported wine, glass, and its ability to obtain other raw materials; fluctuations in the U.S./Canadian dollar exchange rates; its ability to market products successfully to its anticipated customers; the trade balance within the domestic Canadian wine market; market trends; reliance on key personnel; protection of its intellectual property rights; the economic environment; the regulatory requirements regarding producing, marketing, advertising, and labeling its products; the regulation of liquor distribution and retailing in Ontario; and the impact of increasing competition.

These forward-looking statements are also subject to the risks and uncertainties discussed in this news release, in the "Risk Factors" section and elsewhere in the Company's MD&A and other risks detailed from time to time in the publicly filed disclosure documents of Andrew Peller Limited which are available at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions which could cause actual results to differ materially from those conclusions, forecasts, or projections anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Because of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company's forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this news release, and except as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.


ANDREW PELLER LIMITED                                                       
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets                                       
Unaudited                                                                   
These financial statements have not been reviewed by our auditors           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       December 31     March 31      April 1
                                              2013         2013         2012
                                                    Restated(1)  Restated(1)
(in thousands of Canadian dollars)               $            $            $
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
Assets                                                                      
                                                                            
Current Assets                                                              
Accounts receivable                         24,383       25,484       24,937
Inventory                                  122,330      115,931      110,256
Current portion of biological assets             -          938          881
Prepaid expenses and other assets            1,555        1,573        1,338
Income taxes recoverable                         -          268            -
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                           148,268      144,194      137,412
Property, plant, and equipment              89,330       88,841       84,490
Biological assets                           13,826       13,405       12,556
Intangibles                                 13,305       12,606       13,621
Goodwill                                    37,473       37,473       37,473
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                           302,202      296,519      285,552
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                                                            
Liabilities                                                                 
                                                                            
Current Liabilities                                                         
Bank indebtedness                           53,462       60,099       57,495
Accounts payable and accrued                                                
 liabilities                                34,064       33,616       37,118
Dividends payable                            1,391        1,252        1,252
Income taxes payable                         2,472            -           40
Current portion of derivative                                               
 financial instruments                       1,002        1,107        1,272
Current portion of long-term debt            7,385        6,450        5,366
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                            99,776      102,524      102,543
Long-term debt                              39,921       41,473       41,456
Long-term derivative financial                                              
 instruments                                   508        1,215        1,943
Post-employment benefit obligations          4,248        6,411        6,665
Deferred income                              1,010        1,314            -
Deferred income taxes                       15,263       13,881       12,038
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                           160,726      166,818      164,645
                                     ---------------------------------------
Shareholders' Equity                                                        
                                                                            
Capital stock                                7,026        7,026        7,026
Retained earnings                          134,450      122,675      113,881
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                           141,476      129,701      120,907
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                                                            
                                           302,202      296,519      285,552
                                     ---------------------------------------
                                     ---------------------------------------
Commitments                                                                 
(1)  Restated to reflect the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19.          

The above statements should be read in conjunction with the entire interim consolidated financial statements and notes.

They will be available on the Investor Relations section of www.andrewpeller.com or at www.sedar.com.


ANDREW PELLER                                                               
 LIMITED                                                                    
Condensed                                                                   
 Consolidated                                                               
 Statements of                                                              
 Earnings                                                                   
Unaudited                                                                   
These financial                                                             
 statements have not                                                        
 been reviewed by   For the three For the three  For the nine  For the nine 
 our auditors        months ended  months ended  months ended  months ended 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   December 31,                December 31, 
                     December 31,          2012  December 31,          2012 
(in thousands of             2013  Restated(1)           2013  Restated(1)  
 Canadian dollars)              $             $             $             $ 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
Sales                      81,854        79,813       231,798       225,557 
Cost of goods sold         52,379        49,012       146,422       138,449 
Amortization of                                                             
 plant and equipment                                                        
 used in production         1,205         1,180         3,600         3,527 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
Gross profit               28,270        29,621        81,776        83,581 
Selling and                                                                 
 administration            18,097        18,942        55,302        56,697 
Amortization of                                                             
 plant, equipment,                                                          
 and intangibles                                                            
 used in selling and                                                        
 administration               732           646         2,367         2,426 
Interest                    1,241         1,359         3,834         4,079 
Restructuring costs           254             -           353             - 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
Operating earnings          7,946         8,674        19,920        20,379 
Net unrealized gains                                                        
 on derivative                                                              
 financial                                                                  
 instruments                 (252)         (683)         (519)       (1,079)
Other expeses                                                               
 (income)                     (22)          214           242          (213)
                    --------------------------------------------------------
Earnings before                                                             
 income taxes               8,220         9,143        20,197        21,671 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
Provision for income                                                        
 taxes                                                                      
Current                     1,926         2,140         4,690         5,089 
Deferred                      327           431           908         1,128 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                            2,253         2,571         5,598         6,217 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
Net earnings for the                                                        
 period                     5,967         6,572        14,599        15,454 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
                                                                            
Net earnings per                                                            
 share                                                                      
Basic and diluted                                                           
  Class A shares             0.43          0.47          1.05          1.11 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                    --------------------------------------------------------
  Class B shares             0.37          0.41          0.91          0.97 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
(1)  Restated to reflect the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19.          

The above statements should be read in conjunction with the entire interim consolidated financial statements and notes.

They will be available on the Investor Relations section of www.andrewpeller.com or at www.sedar.com.


ANDREW PELLER                                                               
 LIMITED                                                                    
Condensed Consolidated Statements                                           
 of Comprehensive Income                                                    
Unaudited                                                                   
These financial                                                             
 statements have not                                                        
 been reviewed by   For the three For the three  For the nine  For the nine 
 our auditors        months ended  months ended  months ended  months ended 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   December 31,                December 31, 
                     December 31,          2012  December 31,          2012 
(in thousands of             2013  Restated(1)           2013  Restated(1)  
 Canadian dollars)              $             $             $             $ 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
Net earnings for the                                                        
 period                     5,967         6,572        14,599        15,454 
                                                                            
Items that are never                                                        
 reclassified to net                                                        
 income                                                                     
Net actuarial gains                                                         
 (losses) on post-                                                          
 employment benefit                                                         
 plans                        499           (71)        1,822        (1,755)
Deferred income tax                                                         
 (provision)                                                                
 recovery                    (130)           17          (474)          454 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
Other comprehensive                                                         
 income (loss) for                                                          
 the period                   369           (54)        1,348        (1,301)
                    --------------------------------------------------------
Net comprehensive                                                           
 income for the                                                             
 period                     6,336         6,518        15,947        14,153 
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                    --------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
(1)  Restated to reflect the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19.          

The above statements should be read in conjunction with the entire interim consolidated financial statements and notes.

They will be available on the Investor Relations section of www.andrewpeller.com or at www.sedar.com.


ANDREW PELLER LIMITED                                                       
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows                             
Unaudited                                                                   
These financial statements have not been reviewed by our auditors           
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 For the nine  For the nine 
                                                 months ended  months ended 
                                                 December 31,  December 31, 
                                                         2013          2012 
                                                                Restated(1) 
(in thousands of Canadian dollars)                          $             $ 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
Cash provided by (used in)                                                  
Operating activities                                                        
Net earnings for the period                            14,599        15,454 
                                                                            
Adjustments for:                                                            
  Loss (gain) on disposal of property and                                   
   equipment                                               63          (547)
  Amortization of plant, equipment, and                                     
   intangibles                                          5,967         5,953 
  Interest expense                                      3,834         4,079 
  Provision for income taxes                            5,598         6,217 
  Revaluation of biological assets                         99           295 
  Post-employment benefits                               (341)         (727)
  Deferred income                                        (304)        1,819 
  Net unrealized gain on derivative financial                               
   instruments                                           (519)       (1,079)
Interest paid                                          (3,638)       (3,853)
Income taxes paid                                      (1,950)       (3,201)
                                                ----------------------------
                                                       23,408        24,410 
                                                                            
Changes in non-cash working capital items                                   
 related to operations (note 5)                        (4,260)      (17,755)
                                                ----------------------------
                                                                            
                                                       19,148         6,655 
                                                ----------------------------
                                                                            
Investing activities                                                        
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment           18           514 
Purchase of property, equipment, and biological                             
 assets                                                (6,202)      (11,266)
Purchase of intangibles                                (1,512)            - 
Proceeds from disposal of a business                        -         1,000 
                                                ----------------------------
                                                                            
                                                       (7,696)       (9,752)
                                                ----------------------------
                                                ----------------------------
                                                                            
Financing activities                                                        
Decrease in bank indebtedness                          (6,637)        4,789 
Issuance of long-term debt                              4,086         6,500 
Repayment of long-term debt                            (4,868)       (4,280)
Deferred financing costs                                    -          (155)
Dividends paid                                         (4,033)       (3,757)
                                                ----------------------------
                                                                            
                                                      (11,452)        3,097 
                                                ----------------------------
                                                                            
Increase (decrease) in cash during the period               -             - 
                                                                            
Cash, beginning of period                                   -             - 
                                                                            
Cash, end of period                                         -             - 
                                                ----------------------------
                                                ----------------------------
                                                                            
(1)  Restated to reflect the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19.          

The above statements should be read in conjunction with the entire interim consolidated financial statements and notes. They will be available on the Investor Relations section of www.andrewpeller.com or at www.sedar.com.

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“This win means a great deal to us because it is decided by the readers – the people who understand how use of our technology enables new insights that drive the business,” said Matt Davies, senior director, EMEA marketing, Splunk. “Splunk Enterprise enables organizations to improve service levels, reduce operations costs, mitigate security risks, enhance DevOps collaboration, create new product and service offerings and obtain deeper insight into customer behavior. Being named Best Business App...