Astral posts significant profit increase in H1

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United states dollar, Poultry

South African poultry producer Astral Foods delivered a 260% increase in operating profit by R213m, in its interim results for the six months to 31 March 2014.

Revenue increased 11% to R4.7bn, compared to R4.2bn for the comparable period last year, with its poultry division contributing a 12% increase in revenue.

The firm said the results reflected an improved performance compared to one of the worst trading periods experienced by the poultry industry in the prior year.

Increasing revenue in its poultry division was put down to a 6.2% increase in broiler sale volumes, due to normalised bird placements against cutbacks in the comparable period last year.

Operating profit in the poultry division increased by 139%, to R44.9m, from an operating loss of R116.6m in the six-month period to 31 March 2013.

Chris Schutte, chief executive of Astral, said: "Astral’s broiler production performances improved for the period in line with continued focus in this area. We also saw an improvement in our product mix being realised with Astral’s exposure to individually quick frozen (IQF) portions decreasing by 2% and an increase in fresh sales."

He added: "The poultry industry continued to be negatively impacted by high total poultry imports, record high local maize and soya bean prices and a weak currency against the US dollar, which negated any benefits of the lower CBOT corn prices during the first half of 2014.

"The severe trading conditions have led to a further contraction in the poultry industry with the closure of small-sized producers followed by the consolidation of some of these distressed assets."

Related topics: Meat

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