GREELEY, COLO. — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., a unit of JBS SA, reported a $155 million loss in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report that ended Dec. 25, 2022.

Pilgrim’s said it was at a 66¢ loss per share, down from $36.46 million in the same period a year ago. Losses, adjusted for one-time gains costs, were 49¢ per share.

Net sales were $4.13 billion for the quarter from $4.04 billion in 2021. 

For the fiscal year 2022, Pilgrim’s reported a net income of $745.9 million, or $3.11 per share, from $31 million in the previous year. Net sales for the year were $17.47 billion, up from $14.78 billion in 2021.

In its earnings report, Pilgrim’s said that commodity cutout values experienced record volatility as markets reached all-time highs in the first half of 2022 and then suffered an unprecedented decline in value during the second half. Inflation remained persistent with the input costs of grain utilities and labor.

“Although we faced remarkable challenges, our team members were constantly available to explore new opportunities to improve our business and were determined to drive results,” said Fabio Sandri, chief executive officer for Pilgrim’s. “This leadership mindset, when coupled with our strategies of portfolio diversification, key customer partnerships and operational excellence, translated into strong growth in net sales and adjusted EBITDA for Pilgrim’s.”

The company noted that in the United States, case ready, small bird and prepared foods businesses all improved results throughout the fourth quarter, offsetting the cutout value declines impacting the commodity segment.  

“Our performance in the US highlights the benefits of key customer partnerships, diversification across bird sizes as well as branded offerings as means to mitigate dramatic market changes,” Sandri said. “Even with an extremely challenging Q4, the US grew year to date net sales and adjusted EBITDA compared to last year.

In his remarks, Sandri also pointed out that the company is improving its portfolio with investments and expansion at its Athens, Ga., plant, construction of a protein conversion plant in South Georgia, and various automation projects.

When discussing its United Kingdom and Europe business, Pilgrim’s said that it continued to optimize its manufacturing footprint and further integrate back-office support activities. The company also partnered with key customers to mitigate increased input costs from inflation and generate product innovation.  

“I’m continually impressed with the discipline and ownership of our UK and Europe team,” Sandri said. “Their efforts to scale our manufacturing network and consolidate back-office support activities creates a solid foundation to realize our growth aspirations and to create value with our key customers.”

Company business in Mexico faced unique circumstances for live operations and unbalanced market fundamentals in the second half of 2022, which led to negatively impacted profitability and margins, according to Sandri.

“Nonetheless, the team cultivated key customer relationships by maintaining strong service levels under extraordinary conditions,” he said. “We continue to support the growth of the region.”

More information on Pilgrim’s earnings can be found here.