Perdigao's 2008 profits up despite quarterly loss

by Bryan Salvage
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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – Despite reporting a net loss of US$8.9 million in its fiscal 2008 fourth-quarter, Perdigao S.A. announced gross profits in 2008 amounted to US$ 1.2 billion, a year-on-year improvement of 47%.

The quarterly loss compared to the previous year’s profit during the same period of US$43.6 million, due in large part to Brazil’s weaker currency. However, for the year, gross sales reached US$5.4 billion, an increase of 69% compared to the same year-earlier period. This result reflects good performances in domestic and export markets, both of which reported an increase in sales volume and revenue terms, combined with the consolidation of the businesses acquired by the company.

EBITDA reached US$530 million, an increase of 44.4% over 2007 thanks to strict cost control — helping to offset significant increases in raw material prices — a reduction in expenses and a better product mix largely accounting for the 48.7% share of processed products in total sales.

Exports increased 58% in revenues and 34.8% in volume. Overseas sales were spearheaded by the meats business, representing 97.3% of the total, with the Middle East, Far East, Eurasia and Europe, the leading export markets.

Gross sales to the domestic market reported an increase of 76.6%. Sales volume increased in all segments of the business, meats by 26.3%, dairy products, 305.7% and other processed products, 69.6%. The participation of domestic business as a percentage of total net sales was 56.3%.

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