New Australian investor, Brazil’s Minerva, is heavily export focussed

Jon Condon, 26/07/2016

Brazil’s Minerva, which this week takes over Australian non-packer exporter IMTP Pty Ltd (see this morning’s separate story), is South America’s third largest beef processor, after JBS and Marfrig. Like JBS it is listed on the Brazilian Stock Exchange.

minervaAccording to its annual report, the company slaughtered 2.276 million head of cattle in 2015, up 7pc on the previous year. Beef sales volume was 578,000 tonnes.

An aspect that distinguishes Minerva from other large South American processors like JBS, Marfrig and BRF is its relatively heavy reliance on export. In 2015, exports accounted for 70pc of the company’s consolidated revenue, up from 65pc the year before. At times the figure reaches 80pc of monthly exports. It exports to more than 100 countries in five continents.

Buoyed by a strengthening US dollar against the Real, boosting the profitability of recent exports, Minerva’s key figures from its 2015 financial results included:

  • Consolidated net revenue totalled R$9.525 billion in 2015, 36pc higher than in 2014
  • Pre-tax earnings reached R$1.02 billion, up 34.2pc
  • Fresh beef export sales grew by 58pc over 2014, while domestic sales increased by 17pc.

With average annual growth of 39pc since 2001, Minerva’s net income reached the milestone of R$ 4.4 billion in 2012.

The company started from small beginnings, much like JBS. Founders, the Vilela de Queiroz family, had a livestock transport and cattle production business before branching into processing in 1992.

Today the company operates seventeen modern slaughtering and boning plants – 11 in Brazil, three in Paraguay, two in Uruguay and one in Colombia. Slaughtering capacity is 17,330 cattle per day, and boning capacity is 20,300 per day. The company also operates divisions for value-adding, leather, biodiesel, live cattle export (it is Brazil’s largest live exporter) and meat products. It also processes smaller quantities of pork and poultry, but is nowhere near as diversified as JBS.

Like JBS, Minerva has made a series of strategic acquisitions, invested heavily in modernising its facilities, and broadened its portfolio businesses into cold storage, distribution, logistics, leather production, biodiesel, casings, and live cattle exports. The company is Brazil’s largest export of live cattle, mostly to other South American countries.

The company has international trading offices in Algeria, China (established last year), Chile, Colombia, the US (beef from some of its South American operations is eligible for US markets), Italy, Iran, Lebanon and Russia.

Strategic long-term investor, Saudi Arabia’s Salic, in December last year agreed to take a 20pc stake in the company, supporting higher exports into the Middle East region.

“Minerva is a well-performing beef company generating ROICs near 20pc, but we worry that the company’s narrow focus on commodity beef processing (as opposed to other proteins) and low to no brand focus will impair its ability to grow and compete in the meat industry long-term,” analysts HSBC said in a review of Brazil’s ‘big four’ processors in February this year.




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