DEAR FELLOW SHAREHOLDERS:
TrueBlue® continues to move into Safeway stores across the US. Sales in all of our markets remained strong through what historically has been a slower time of the year.
During this season we turn our attention to assessing bottling contracts and reviewing brands for the coming spring. We have been very fortunate to renew our major bottling relationships for 2006 and have indications of significant increased volumes from new customer initiatives and geographic coverage. We are also working with three of our major bottling customers to make joint investments in our plants that will give us new capabilities and efficiencies. That work will be executed primarily in the first weeks of 2006.
We will also initiate a series of reviews this fall to improve operating and reporting systems. We want to continually improve our service levels and response times and further streamline our logistics train. Our goal is to continue to reduce paper flow and allow our sales people to spend more time selling, our operations staff to concentrate on producing better products more efficiently, etc.
I thought it important to point out a trend that could be missed by shareholders and other observers of our Company. Most of our assets are owned in Canada and denominated in Canadian dollars, whereas our shares are traded in the United States and thereby denominated in US currency. In the past four years, the Canadian dollar has appreciated almost 40% against the US dollar. That appreciation has been particularly strong during 2005. One would think that, all things being equal, the US dollar denominated value of our Company would have increased accordingly. I fully appreciate that is only one indicator of a Company's value, but it is one that is often overlooked.
Thank you for your continued support.
LEADING BRANDS, INC.
Ralph D. McRae
Chairman & CEO
Certain information contained in this press release includes forward-looking statements. Words such as “believe”, “expect,” “will,” or comparable terms, are intended to identify forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s expectations, beliefs, intentions, plans, objectives, future events or performance and other developments. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof. Such statements speak only as of the date hereof. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s estimations and projections are disclosed in the Company’s securities filings and include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions, weather conditions, changing beverage consumption trends, pricing, availability of raw materials, economic uncertainties (including currency exchange rates), government regulation, managing and maintaining growth, the effect of adverse publicity, litigation, competition and other risk factors described from time to time in securities reports filed by Leading Brands, Inc.