Agribusiness

South America standout in JBS’s first quarter result

Jon Condon, 16/05/2012

 

Contrasts in performance were seen between operations in South America and US/Australia in JBS’s first quarter financial results for the period ending March 30, released to the market today.

Overall, the world’s largest meat processor reported net revenue of $16 billion Brazilian Real, up 9.1 percent compared with the first quarter last year, and an adjusted net income of R$240 million. Pre-tax earnings were R$696 million.

The company’s South American operations were regarded as the highlight of global business last quarter, according to today’s report, posting a 6.2pc increase in net revenue over the first quarter last year, as a result of increased domestic sales prices and volumes.

During the early stages of 2012 JBS initiated operations in the poultry industry in Brazil, leasing plants with the capacity to processes 1.1 million birds/day. It also added 12 beef slaughter units in Brazil with a combined capacity to process 8000 cattle/day. The company expects its expanded beef and poultry assets in Brazil to add a further R$4.5 billion in annual revenue.

In the USA Beef division, which includes operations in Australia, net sales revenue last quarter was $US4079 billion, up 7.5pc from this time last year, but down 9.2pc on the fourth quarter of 2011.

The result reflected an increase in average sales prices in the US domestic and export markets since 2011. Compared to 4Q11, however, revenue decreased 9.2pc as a consequence of lower export volumes and reduced prices in the US domestic market.

A negative $45 million earnings result for JBS’s US/Australia division was impacted by historically high prices for US livestock, which increased 17.6pc in the period, and a 4.8pc appreciation of Australian Dollar against US$ in the quarter which impacted on the competitiveness of goods exported out of Australia.

The increase in price of US cattle was combined with low sales prices both domestically and in exports.

JBS’s report said it believed in the recovery of margins in this sector through better sales prices and a balance between supply and demand during 2012, besides the increase in demand and higher cattle availability seasonally.

“The management remains committed to operate with low cost, focused on increased profitability per animal processed and an improved sales mix,” the report said.

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