SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL — Progressing with incremental improvements across its businesses and reducing net debt by $600 million, JBS S.A. remains optimistic despite severe disparities in fiscal performance in the third quarter of 2023 compared with the same period last year.

“The results in the third quarter of 2023 demonstrate that we are on a path of consistent recovery, as we have indicated in previous quarters,” said Gilberto Tomazoni, chief executive officer of JBS.

In the fiscal third quarter ended Sept. 30, JBS SA reported a steep decline in net income by 84.7% compared to the same period last year, dropping to $117.3 million. Net revenue for the quarter was $18.7 billion compared to $18.8 billion a year ago, a mere 0.6% drop.

JBS looks to restore profitability for two of its businesses that were performing below potential, namely Seara and JBS Beef North America.

“In Seara, we have executed the majority of our previously identified adjustments,” Tomazoni said. “This should positively impact our results in the coming quarters. There's still room for improvement in results with the ramp up from the new facilities, which are not yet operating at full capacity.”

Seara recorded a net revenue of $2.1 billion, down 7% from last year, as a reflection of lower net revenues from exports, JBS said. Adjusted EBITDA reached $116 million, with a 5.5% EBITDA margin, which continued to be pressured by the global oversupply of poultry in the annual comparison.

Investments in the Seara brand continue to bring positive results for the Brazilian meatpacker, including the two new value-added facilities announced this year.

JBS Beef North America reported net revenue of $6 billion, an increase of 7.2% from the same quarter in fiscal 2022. JBS said operational measures adopted in its US beef business since March are helping the company navigate through the lowest point of the cattle cycle.

“The margins of the operation are showing gradual recovery, even in a scenario of tighter spreads and reduced cattle supply, demonstrating our commitment to operational excellence,” Tomazoni said.

All regions of the company’s Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. business improved margins compared to the previous quarter. Pilgrim’s reported net revenue of $4.4 billion, down 2.4% from last year but up 1.2% from last quarter.

JBS Australia revenue for the quarter was $1.6 billion, a drop of 5.3% year-over-year. Primo, the prepared foods unit, recorded a 5% increase in average prices, but this was offset by lower volumes sold due to weaker demand, JBS said.

The company’s US pork business improved revenue from the previous quarter by over 14% with $2 billion compared to Q2’s $1.8 billion. However, JBS USA Pork’s reported revenue fell 4.6% year-over-year. JBS said the improvement in profitability is the result of lower grain costs, lower pork prices and continuous efforts to expand and improve its value-added portfolio.