DEAR FELLOW SHAREHOLDERS:
We finished off our 2004 fiscal year ending February 28, 2005 on a high note, with a particularly strong financial performance for this time of year. I want to thank all of our managers for staying focused on continually improving both efficiencies and margins.
We have made some additional investments in our operational and sales staff this past couple of months, continuing to improve the quality and experience of the Leading Brands team.
TrueBlue™ is starting the year off nicely, with some rather significant retail grocery listings in both the United States and Canada. Initial turns are quite encouraging. All four flavors are available for distribution in both 64 oz (1.89 liter) and 16 oz (473 ml) sizes in both countries. Growing this brand will require us to pay listing or slotting fees, which we will recognize as we go along. The impact of those fees as a percentage of brand sales will reduce as the brand becomes established.
We are also developing additional line extensions of the TrueBlue™ brand for launch in the Fall of 2005.
In the Spring of 1999 we sold our first bottle of SoBe®. In April 2001 we sold the Canadian rights back to Pepsi® and continued to bottle the product for them. This month will be the first in six years that we will not produce a case of SoBe®, as its bottling is being consolidated to the US. We are proud to have been associated with the SoBe® brand throughout its life cycle.
We have been pleasantly surprised by the pull we are receiving in Canada with Brand X™. We will look closely through the Spring at the brand’s growth and assess its prospects for the US market then. We are also working on a unique energy drink concept that we will test market in the US Northwest this Summer.
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.