GREELEY, COLO. — Net income at Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in the fiscal third quarter ended Sept. 25 totaled $258.35 million, equal to $1.08 per share on the common stock, up from $60.73 million, or 25¢ per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased nearly 17%, improving to $4.47 billion for the quarter from $3.83 billion.
Adjusted earnings per share were $1.09 with adjusted net income at $260.7 million. Adjusted EBITDA was $460.5 million, or a 10.3% margin, 32.7% higher than a year ago.
“During the third quarter, we experienced significant changes in market fundamentals. To navigate these challenges, our team members maintained their determination and focus on our operations,” said Fabio Sandri, chief executive officer of Pilgrim’s.
Sandri added that commodity cutout values in the US declined from five-year high throughout the quarter while inflationary pressures continued to mount. Still, the US business achieved an adjusted EBITA margin over 14%.
“Our strong performance in the US highlights the strength and effectiveness of our strategy,” Sandri said. Our diversified portfolio offerings across multiple bird sizes helps mitigate volatility, whereas our Key Customer relationships cultivated profitable growth for all involved. When these factors are combined with our relentless focus on operational excellence, we demonstrated our ability to drive strong performance throughout a challenging environment.”
The company noted that its brand momentum grew in the US as Just Bare and Pilgrim’s prepared products grew over 45% year over year and e-commerce across our US branded portfolio grew more than 65%.
Pilgrim’s continues to deal with inflationary headwinds and a challenging consumer environment in its UK and Europe business but improved its adjusted EBITDA from the previous quarter and previous year. The company said it would take additional steps to mitigate further headwinds with optimization of its network and increasing innovation.
“Although I am pleased with our improvement to date, I am even more impressed by the team’s ability to work together to further optimize our manufacturing footprint, to engage with Key Customers to mitigate continued cost escalation, and to develop strategies to minimize potential commodity challenges,” Sandri said. “These combined efforts will strengthen our foundation for profitable growth.”
Business in Mexico showed a decline in sales and profitability compared to last year and the prior quarter in 2022. Pilgrim’s pointed to challenges in demand and continued issues with bird mortality due to disease.
“The Mexico business has historically experienced significant quarter-over-quarter earnings volatility,” Sandri said. “Nonetheless, we remain confident in the business and its long-term prospects.”