GREELEY, Colo. – Pilgrim's Pride Corp., a subsidiary of JBS SA, reported first quarter 2013 net income of $54.6 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to net income of $39.2 million, or 18 cents per share in the comparable quarter in 2012.

Net sales totaled $2.0 billion, and EBITDA was $116.9 million for the quarter compared to $1.9 billion in sales and EBITDA of $116.9 million, the company said. Pilgrim’s achieved its positive results despite a $141 million increase in feed costs over the first quarter a year-ago.

"Every quarter we see that our strategy and execution is working effectively," said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's CEO. "We delivered better results year over year despite $141 million of increased feed ingredient costs. By focusing on creating value with our key customers, we have diversified our product mix, honed our execution and are seeing our portfolio of business become a more profitable model.

"Our pursuit of operational excellence has resulted in an improved safety record, significantly better than the industry average. We are reducing our turnover and measuring quality at every level of the organization. Despite challenging environmental conditions, Mexico continues to outperform due to its effective business model and the versatility and value that chicken provides to consumers.

"We made significant steps on our strategy to strengthen our company and our balance sheet,” he continued. “Even with as much improvement as we have demonstrated to date, we believe there is still opportunity to stretch towards our vision of being the best managed and most respected company in the industry."