BRAZIL - Brazilian international meat and food processor BRF saw profits rise by 38 per cent last year reaching R $ 1.1 billion.
Adjusted EBITDA was R $ 3.6 billion, up 35.3 per cent, with improvement in EBITDA margin, which reached 11.9 per cent , compared to 9.4 per cent in the previous year .
The company said the performance reflects the sustainable work that was done over the year to make major changes in the company.
The company said that BRF now focuses on customers and consumers, with a long-term view on the results.
Important advances and operational improvements and greater efficiency in optimizing working capital have allowed free cash flow to grow 10 fold from R$ 115 million in 2012 to more than R$ 1.5 billion in 2013 .
Net revenue for the year reached R $ 30.5 billion, seven per cent higher than in 2012, demonstrating the resilience of the company against the challenging environment in the markets as well as the strength of the brands , especially Sadia and Perdigao , which remained as the two most favoured by consumers.
In the margarine segment, Qualy was the brand top brand, a position that the product has held for nearly a decade .
During 2013, the BRF launched 219 new products, with 99 on the domestic market, 96 overseas market and 24 in the food service segment.
BRF 's investments reached R$1.5 billion in 2013 , driven mainly automation projects and process improvement, particularly in the areas of IT and logistics .
The highlights were the opening of the Innovation Center in Jundiaí ( SP ) and the start of construction of the processing plant in the Middle East . For 2014, the company expects to maintain this same level of investment.
The Strategic Planning Cycle for the period 2014-2017 ( BRF -17 ) was put forward during the second half of the year with the goal of retaining the BRF as a company that builds value through the strength of their brands and innovation of their products, distancing price sensitivity and the narrow margins of commodity products.
BRF said it is confident in future earnings, and forecasts an increase of R $ 1.9 billion in operating income by 2016 .
In the international market, the strategy of investing in processed products with strong brands in markets with a rapidly expanding outlook on access to local markets, was seen on the move to acquire a 40 per cent stake in of Al Khan Foods – AKF, the leading distributor of frozen foods in the Sultanate of Oman and the bid to buy additional shares in Federal Foods Limited in the UAE .
BRF said the Middle East market has been the emphasis on international operations for the company, with the cooperation agreement signed between BRF and Americana Group in late December, in which the companies are to conduct a strategic analysis to work collaboratively in the region .
This year will be marked by the inauguration of the new plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - the first built by BRF outside Brazil .
In the Far East, the highlight was the start of pork exports to Japan, highlighting the BRF as one of the first Brazilian companies to enter this market.
In total in 2013 , BRF exported 2.5 million tonnes of product, an increase of 1.5 per cent over the previous year.
The significant increase of 11.2 per cent achieved in prices in the year, led to an increase of 12.9 per cent in net revenue , which reached R$13.1 billion.
The company ended the year with operating income of three per cent higher than the 1.3 per cent achieved in 2012 .
On the domestic market BRF has laid out a plan to focus on the customer and consumer, restructuring the company and creating a new post of CEO Brazil.
The new process of go- to-market ( GTM ) will change from an industrial to a market-driven model .
The sales area was consolidated, creating the "seller BRF" prepared to offer a complete portfolio with all the brands offered by the company .
As part of the new programme a Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Planning and Supply Chain replaced Vice Chair of Integrated Planning, Strategy and Supplies. They will also be responsible for boards of Agriculture, Engineering and Management Planning .
Revenue from the domestic market reached R $ 13.0 billion, 2.8 per cent higher than 2012.
The company's strategy in Dairy was to focus on a mix of higher added value with reduced dependence on UHT milk.
This helped the business to have more significant results.
In 2013 the company recorded growth of 3.5 per cent in net sales in the division, totalling R$ 2.8 billion .
The focus of BRF for Food Service was to optimise operations through investment in innovation and training.
The company aimed to improve productivity through excellence and this goal will be the focus when the company starts the expansion of the model on the international market, looking at opportunities in Europe, Middle East and South Korea.
For the full year, operating income was up by7.5 per cent to R$177 million, reflecting the effort to reduce operating expenses .
Net revenue of BRF in the fourth quarter of 2013 ( 4Q13 ) increased 0.8 per cent over the same period last year and reached R $ 8.2 billion.
Good financial management allowed the the company to be in a comfortable situation, with free cash flow reaching R$578.2 million in 4Q13 against R$197.9 million generated in the same period last year and R$518.2 million of 3T13 .
The net profit was R$208 million and adjusted EBITDA reached R$954 million, resulting in Adjusted EBITDA margin of 11.6 per cent .
The volume of shares traded averaged U.S. $ 71.5 million / day in the quarter , 0.42 per cent higher than the same period last year .
The company said that January 2014 has signalled an important restoration of the company's participation in all major markets, as well as better balance in the level of international stocks, bringing the prices of this market to a more positive level.
These factors, added to optimism in the operational and financial gains provided by the new cycle, indicate a very favourable year for the BRF, the company said.
TheMeatSite News Desk