BRAZIL - Poultry, meat and dairy processing company BRF, has seen net income of R$461.6 million in the first quarter of 2015, an increase of 42.8 per cent from the first quarter of 2014.
The results had a margin of 6.5 per cent, compared to 4.8 per cent in the previous year.
Consolidated EBITDA reached R$951.1 million, up 11.2 per cent, with EBITDA margin of 13.5 per cent, up 0.7 p.p. in the same period.
If there was an adjustment for the non-recurring items in the quarter, EBITDA would be R$1,155.0 million, with an EBITDA margin of 16.4 per cent.
Simplified cash flow was R$1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2015, for a total of R$4.1 billion in the last 12 months, increasing 57.8 per cent year-on-year.
Net debt/EBITDA for the last 12 months, which had been falling for a year, stood at 1.26, compared to 1.04 in the fourth quarter of 2014, reflecting the effects of exchange variation.
Consolidated net operating revenue (NOR) totalled R$7.0 billion, up 5.1 per cent year on year, driven by an average price increase in Brazilian real of 13.3 per cent and by the positive results in Brazil, Middle East/Africa and Asia.
In a challenging domestic and global scenario, our results underline the C
company’s strength and reflect the structural and strategic changes made over the last two years, which were intensified in early 2015 with the reorganisation of the company's management, which is now more decentralised, with greater decision-making power at business points and an increasingly greater focus on the consumer.
In the first quarter of 2015, EBIT in Brazil reached R$306.1 million, down 19.5 per cent from the previous year, due to increased operating expenses, such as investments in marketing and trade marketing, as well as non-recurring extra expenses, such as restructuring, truck driver’s strike and changes in tax laws.
EBIT margin fell 2.5 p.p. from 1Q14 to 8.1 per cent. In comparison to the fourth quarter of 2014, EBIT fell 62.1 per cent, while EBIT margin dropped 10.4 p.p.
In the first quarter of 2015, NOR in Brazil was R$3.8 billion, up 5.9 per cent from the same period in 2014, mainly due to the 9.8 per cent increase in average prices, which offset the 3.5 per cent drop in volume.
However, this result was impacted by other sales (feed, breeding stock and subproducts), whose volume decreased 58.1 per cent, while average prices in Brazilian real increased 65.0 per cent in the yearly comparison.
The company remains attentive to the economic challenges faced by Brazil, such as rising inflation and slowing growth. Three new projects were launched in 1Q15 in the pursuit of constant improvements to efficiency and performance of our operations: the revamp of our production footprint to optimize the production infrastructure based on the vocation of each plant and the geographical diversity of BRF; the new pricing model that will enable positioning in accordance with each region, micro-region and channel; and acceleration of the plant automation process.
Starting July, the company will also reinstate certain key product categories under the Perdigão brand, such as cured ham and sausage, which had been suspended in 2012.
Perdigão currently accounts for 19 per cent of the sales volume in the processed and frozen foods markets, making it the second most consumed brand in the country.
In the first quarter of 2015, NOR in Europe was R$622.1 million, down 12.4 per cent year on year, mainly due to the 15.7 per cent decrease in volumes caused by the reduction in Russia's share as a result of the country's economic crisis and our strategy to reduce exposure to that market.
NOR in Middle East/Africa was R$1.5 billion in 1Q15, up 15.1 per cent from 1Q14, mainly driven by higher revenues from important markets such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as a result of our strategy to acquire distributors in the region.
This was accompanied by a 23.0 per cent increase in average prices in Brazilian real (1.5 per cent higher in U.S. dollar) and a 6.4 per cent decrease in volumes.
In Asia, NOR reached R$744.7 million, representing growth of 6.5 per cent compared to the forst quarter of 2014. This increase was mainly due to better average prices in Brazilian real (+17.1 per cent year on year), which offset a 9.1 per cent decrease in volume in the region compared to the same period the previous year.
In Latin America, NOR was R$393.5 million, down 6.0 per cent year on year, caused by the 29.3 per cent decrease in volume, mainly due to the lack of shipments to Venezuela. In comparison with fourth quarter of 2014, NOR in LATAM fell 11.6 per cent, once again due to the 19.0 per cent decrease in volume.
Globally, despite the instability of important markets such as Venezuela, Russia and Angola, the company continues its expansion process, in line with its strategic plan to access local markets, strengthen its brands and expand its product portfolio. Examples of this strategy are the joint ventures with SFI in Singapore, and Invicta Food Group Limited in the United Kingdom.
The Food Services division, which was earlier reported separately, is now included under each region and its results are included in the results of each region.
Due to the sale of Dairy operations to the Lactalis group, the results of these operations are shown as discontinued operations. In the first quarter of 2015, net income from discontinued operations reached R$3.0 million, against a loss of R$7.8 million in first quarter of 2014, but 89.1 per cent lower than the fourth quarter of 2014 net income of R$27.4 million.
TheMeatSite News Desk