GREELEY, Colo. – Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., a subsidiary of São Paulo, Brazil-based JBS SA reported net sales for the second quarter, ended July 1, 2018, were $2.84 billion, up 3.1 percent (or an increase of 26 percent if excluding the Moy Park numbers from last year), compared with $2.75 billion reported in the year-ago quarter.

The company reported an operating income of $185 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, for the second quarter and an adjusted operating income of $212.4 million (excluding the impact of grain derivative loss and one-time expense).

“During Q2 market conditions within our US operations were mixed, with the commodity segment counter seasonal and weak whereas the less commodity businesses continued to be strong and well balanced,” Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s CEO, said in a statement. “Despite some volatility in feed and less than ideal market conditions in the commodity chicken sector, the investments we made over the past few years, the recent acquisitions and our capture of operational improvements, and the strength of our small bird and case-ready businesses helped us to offset some of the impact from the commodity markets and contribute to the evolution of our portfolio in supporting our vision to become the best and most respected company in our industry.”

Mexico continued to deliver strong results during the quarter thanks to strong demand for chicken. “Our volumes increased during the quarter, driving a robust EBITDA performance of 19.6 percent which together with our differentiated strategy and dedication of our team members, extended the outperformance over the main competition over the past few years,” Lovette said. “Our Prepared Foods are growing at a double-digit rate and are generating strong results under both premium Pilgrim’s and Del Dia to drive the evolution of our Mexican portfolio towards more differentiated, higher-value products, and ultimately margin expansion.”

Lovette said the integration of Moy Park continues to show positive results and improved performance, with significant share gained at a key customer. “The operational improvements initiatives are also going well and we are slightly ahead of our $50 million synergy target for the next two years, supporting a margin increase of 70bps,” he added. “We are innovating in the market in Europe by continuing to develop exciting products to satisfy a growing consumer demand for chicken and alternative forms of protein, which can be easily adapted to other markets we participate in.”