SÃO PAULO, Brazil – Strong demand for beef along with higher prices for processed foods in Brazil lifted financial results at JBS S.A. in the second quarter of 2019.

For the three months ended June 30, 2019, the company reported consolidated net income of 2.18 billion reais ($54.3 billion), compared with a loss of 911,077 reais reported in the second quarter of 2018.

Consolidated net revenue for the period advanced 12.5 percent to 50.8 billion reais. The company said approximately 75 percent of JBS global sales came from markets in which the company operates, with exports accounting for 25 percent of global sales.

EBITDA was 5,098.6 million reais, an increase of 20.3 percent compared with the year-ago period making it the largest EBITDA ever recorded by JBS, according to the company.

“In previous quarters, we have already seen significant growth in protein consumption in Asia, and the event of African Swine Fever in many countries is contributing towards increased export flows and opens opportunities to accelerate the growth of our value-added businesses,” said Gilberto Tomazoni, global CEO.

For the six-month period, JBS reported consolidated net revenue of 95.21 billion reais compared with 84.96 billion reais reported in the six-month period of 2018.

Net income for the six-month period was 3.28 billion reais compared with a loss of 404.56 million reais in the six-month period of 2018.

On segment basis, net revenue for Seara increased 24.3 percent to 5.1 billion reais as a result of an 18.3 percent increase in average sales prices and 5.6 percent in total volume, the company reported.

“At Seara, we have launched the Incredible Burger, our first product made with vegetable protein, already available in the retail and foodservice channels,” Tomazoni noted. The company also launched better-for-you products such as the Seara Nature line, which features premium meats and no artificial ingredients. Other product launches include the Rotisserie Fit line of chilled, ready-to-eat meals and the Seara Organico and Incrível Burger Seara Gourmet made with vegetable protein.

JBS USA Beef, which includes Australia and Canada, posted net revenue of 22.1 billion reais in the second quarter of 2019 representing an increase of 9.5 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Demand remained strong, climbing higher in the second half of the quarter, despite a delayed start to grilling season due to “atypical weather conditions.”

“The US market remained robust, with historically low unemployment rates, which positively contributes to a stronger demand for JBS products,” JBS noted. “The company believes that the fundamentals for the beef industry continue to be solid and should remain so in the coming quarters.”

The main highlight in Australia was the increase in beef and lamb exports directly to China, which grew 68 percent in volume and 85 percent in sales year-to-date when compared to the first half of 2018, the company said. And JBS’ prepared food business in Australia, Primo Foods, led the market in its main product categories volumes gaining 6.6 percent over last year.

In the company’s pork business, net revenues in the second quarter were $1.6 billion, an increase of 9.1 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. JBS attributed the result to a 10.4 percent growth in average prices along with stable volumes.

“Despite the growing supply of pork in the US market, which has a direct impact on wholesale prices, JBS USA Pork has been able to differentiate itself from its competitors due to its outstanding operational performance and to its ability to transform primary products into higher value added products, earning sales premiums and increasing margins,” JBS S.A. said.

Plumrose continues expanding its presence in the prepared foods segment reporting a 15 percent increase in sales over the year-ago quarter. JBS said it will continue to invest in increasing production capacity at Plumrose.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. reported net sales of $2.843 billion for the second quarter, up 0.2 percent compared with $2.836 billion reported in the year-ago quarter.

Net income attributable to Pilgrim’s Pride was $170.1 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, compared with $106.3 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, reported in the second quarter of 2018.

1 Brazilian real = 0.25 US dollar