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May 11, 2018
In reporting its first-quarter 2018 financial results, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. put sales at $2.75 billion, operating income at $202 million and generally accepted accounting principles earnings per share (EPS) at 48 cents, marking a 26% year-over-year increase.
The company's U.S. operations continued to deliver solid performance, especially within the small-bird and case-ready businesses. It big bird deboning experienced a soft start as prices remained unseasonally low throughout the first half of the quarter, but prices recovered quickly and returned closer to normal seasonality.
“Despite some headwinds in feed, labor and logistics, the investments we made over the past few years, together with the recent acquisitions and our capture of operational improvements, helped us to generate consistent results and continued to contribute to the evolution of our portfolio in supporting our vision to become the best and most respected company in our industry,” Pilgrim's chief executive officer Bill Lovette said.
The company reported that it had very strong performance at its Mexican operations in the quarter as the prior logistics and infrastructure dislocations caused by natural events normalized and demand returned at strong levels.
“Our volumes increased during the quarter, driving a very strong EBITDA performance that was not only well above the level from a year ago but also above initial expectations. The strength has continued, which we see as the continuation of the trend of a strong, growing market for chicken," Lovette said, adding that the Prepared Foods results "are growing at a double-digit rate and are generating great results under both premium Pilgrim’s and Del Dia to drive the evolution of our Mexican portfolio towards more differentiated, higher-value products and, ultimately, margin expansion.”
In Europe, the company is already seeing positive results from the integration, with significant share gained at a key customer and several other projects to further optimize relationships, highlighting how its newly acquired operations are already benefiting from the team’s enhanced focus on key customer strategy.
“The operational improvements initiatives are also going well, and we are slightly ahead of our $50 million synergy target for the next two years. Based on the success of the previous integrations, we continue to believe we have the method and the team to continue to grow the profitability and potential of our European business” Lovette said.
Pilgrim’s employs approximately 51,400 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared foods facilities in 14 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the U.K and continental Europe. The company’s primary distribution is through retailers and foodservice distributors.
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