US - US based integrated pig meat processing giant Smithfield Foods, part of the Chinese WH Group, saw sales for the first quarter of the year rise slightly.
Gross profit also rose, but net income for the quarter fell.
Sales in the quarter ending 29 March rose to $3.617 billion compared to $3.422 billion in the same quarter last year.
Gross profit rose to $406.1 million compared to $396.7 million in the first quarter of 2014.
While the group made a net operating gain of $12.8 million compared to a loss last year of $1.1 million net income fell to $97 million compared to $105.3 million last year.
Fresh Pork operating profit fell by $25.7 million primarily as a result of lower fresh pork market prices.
Packaged Meats operating profit increased by $ 51.2 million as a result of higher sales volume due primarily to the timing of Easter.
Hog Production operating results decreased by $15.9 million primarily as a result of lower live hog market prices.
International operating profit decreased by $21.0 million due to lower average selling prices in Europe as well as a decrease in results from Campofrío Food Group (CFG) and our joint ventures in Mexico.
The company said: “The meat processing industry is characterised by high sales volume and rapid turnover of inventories and accounts receivable.
“Because of the rapid turnover rate, we consider our meat inventories and accounts receivable highly liquid and readily convertible into cash.
“The Hog Production segment also has rapid turnover of accounts receivable. Although inventory turnover in the Hog Production segment is slower, mature hogs are readily convertible into cash.
“Borrowings under our credit facilities are used, in part, to finance increases in the levels of inventories and accounts receivable resulting from seasonal and other market-related fluctuations in raw material costs.”
TheMeatSite News Desk