JBS Q4 earnings advance despite Pilgrim's losses

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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SÃO PAULO – JBS SA reported consolidated net revenue of R61.8 billion (US$33.8 billion) for the 2011, a 12 percent increase over the year-ago period.

However, JBS SA’s fourth-quarter profit fell short of analysts’ estimates due to rising feed costs that hurt gains at Pilgrim’s Pride. Net income was R25.6 million (US$14 million) compared to a loss of R67.5 million (US$37 million) in 2010. Consolidated net revenue was up sharply in the quarter to R16.9 billion (US$9.3 billion), an increase of 18.3 percent over the year-ago period due to record beef and pork prices. EBITDA for the quarter was R940.6 million (US$550.9 million), up 8.6 percent.

"As we look back at 2011 we can draw some relevant conclusions regarding the performance of JBS such as the fact that we surpassed R$60 billion [US$32.9 billion] in net revenue," said Wesley Batista, chief executive officer of JBS SA. "Last year, our attention continued to be focused on integrating the relevant acquisitions we made over the last number of years. Nonetheless, we had expressive organic growth in the order of 13 percent and we generated positive operating cash in excess of R$600 million (US$328.5 million) last year reverting a negative operating cash flow in 2010.

"Besides, all our business units significantly outperformed 2010 with the exception of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, our US chicken business, which suffered under the influence of an odd year for the sector in the US."

On a segment basis:

• JBS USA Beef, including Australia, recorded revenue of US$16.5 billion in the year, an increase of 25.6 percent over 2010. The EBITDA was US$739.1 million, up 11.4 percent compared to 2010.

• JBS USA Pork unit net revenue totaled US$3.5 billion, 17.5 percent higher compared to 2010. The EBITDA was US$338.2 million, an increase of 22.2 percent compared to the year-ago period.

• JBS Mercosul posted net revenue of 14.9 billion reais, an increase of 11.9 percent year over year. The EBITDA increased 23.9 percent over the same period and was 1.6 billion reais.

"Regarding Pilgrim’s, we made a decision to realign our business strategy and the results can be seen in the form of a more lean and agile firm fast advancing towards operational excellence," Batista said. "And although there is more to be done, we can already see the results of our efforts.

"In the last quarter of 2011, our PPC chicken business maintained revenues at above US$1.8 million while EBITDA showed considerable improvement coming in at over US$22 million and that compared with the negative EBITDA of above US$31 million the previous quarter. A negative EBITDA margin of 1.7 percent in 3Q11 turned 1.2 percent positive in the last quarter," he added.

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