Brasil Foods reports Q1 net earnings of 153M reais, down 60% from year-ago period; EBITDA down 35% to 532M reais

SAO PAULO , April 29, 2012 (press release) – BRF ended the first quarter 2012 reporting net sales of R$ 6.3 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5.3%.

Quarterly gross profits were R$ 1.3 billion, a decline of 13%, primarily reflecting the challenges of the overseas market which saw a significant decline in prices. Net income in the quarter was R$ 153.2 million while EBITDA reached R$ 532 million, corresponding to a margin of 8.4%, compared with R$ 816 million in the preceding year, same quarter, and a margin of 13.6%.

The Company's results reflected the challenging scenario in the export market, as had already been observed in the fourth quarter of 2011. Some key markets such as Japan and the Middle East continued to suffer from a process of adjustment and running down of levels of inventory and merchandise flows. Export revenues in the quarter were R$ 2.4 billion, practically unchanged as compared with the same quarter last year.

Conversely, the Company reported a good performance in sales to the domestic/retail market amounting to R$ 3 billion, a growth of 11%, in spite of below-forecast consumption in the Brazilian retail sector overall.

Similarly, the food service segment reported a good performance posting an increase in net sales of 10.4%. During the period, the Company launched 11 products between in natura and processed lines for the major global networks, a savory snacks platform, a grill line and rotisserie products.

The Company also achieved an investment grade risk rating classification from all three principal world rating agencies. In their assessment, the agencies emphasized competitive advantages such as brand, distribution, corporate governance and financial soundness, among others. Between the months of March and April, Standard & Poor's and Moody's assigned an investment grade rating to the Company while Fitch Ratings reiterated its rating first issued a year ago.

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