SÃO PAULO, Brazil – JBS SA is forecasting profits in 2012 for the company’s Pilgrim’s Pride unit after posting a net loss in 2011.

JBS SA’s fourth-quarter profit fell short of analysts’ estimates due to rising feed costs and excess supplies, which hurt gains at Pilgrim’s Pride. But changing the company’s business strategy to make Pilgrim’s a leaner and more responsive operation did show some results, according to Wesley Batista, chief executive officer of JBS SA.

"In the last quarter of 2011, our PPC chicken business maintained revenues at above US$1.8 million while EBITDA showed considerable improvement coming in at over US$22 million and that compared with the negative EBITDA of above US$31 million the previous quarter,” Batista said in March after the company’s 2011 earnings report. “A negative EBITDA margin of 1.7 percent in 3Q11 turned 1.2 percent positive in the last quarter."