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CPF Hints of Huge Growth in Q1 Profits

by 5m Editor
29 April 2010, at 12:00a.m.

THAILAND - Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) is predicting a big jump in first-quarter (Q1) profits when its results are released next month.

CPF, Thailand's largest agro-industrial and food conglomerate, forecast its operating results in the first quarter to far outstrip the performance in the same period last year thanks to higher exports and growing sales from processed and ready-to-eat food and aquaculture business, according to Bangkok Post.

"Our strategy to focus more on ready-to-eat food continues to pay off lucratively," said Adirek Sripratak, the company's president and chief executive officer.

Mr Adirek did not reveal figures, as CPF will report to the Stock Exchange of Thailand next month.

In the first quarter of 2009, CPF reported a net profit of 770.5 million baht (THB), a rise of 71 per cent from the same quarter of the previous year, despite only a 2.7 per cent increase in quarterly sales to 34.77 billion.

Kim Eng Securities recently forecast CPF's profit in the first quarter of this year to grow significantly to between THB 2.8 and 2.9 billion, or more than 260 per cent year-on-year.

The key catalysts will be favourable domestic meat prices, especially for pigs, at THB63 a kilo, compared with a THB57 average last year.

Meanwhile, raw materials have been stocked at relatively low prices. With a lower supply, the shrimp business should perform well. Chicken, produced in Turkey, which normally suffers losses in the first quarter, should register a profit this year thanks to a shortage of supply from the production problems of other operators, Kim Eng said.

CPF is planning for an increase of processed and ready-to-eat food sales by 20 to 33 per cent in five years. In particular, branded products, with relatively high net margins (eight to 10 pewr cent), are to account for seven per cent of total sales.

CPF projects its sales to grow by about 10 per cent this year, with annual sales growth of about five to 10 per cent over the next five years.

Bangkok Post reports that the company announced record net profits of THB10.19 billion for 2009, an increase of 226 per cent from the previous year, with sales revenue increasing six per cent to THB165.06 billion.