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Overview of This Week's Poultry Industry News

31 May 2012, at 11:42pm

ANALYSIS - Several of the world's top poultry companies have been in the news in the last week, for different reasons – mostly positive, some negative, writes senior editor, Jackie Linden. Companies based in Russia, the Netherlands and the US all reported improvements in sales and/or margins from comparable periods. Reports from France, however, suggest that Doux could be facing imminent receivership.

Several of the poultry companies best known internationally have been in the news in the last week, for different reasons – mostly positive, some negative.

From the Russian Federation last week came the news that Cherkizovo Group had reported a 26 per cent increase in gross margins in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 21 per cent in the first quarter of 2011.

Dutch-based food producer, VION Food Group, achieved a seven per cent increase in total turnover to €9.5 billion in 2011 despite heavy pressure on its results.

In the last month, Pilgrim’s Pride of the US has reported its results for the first quarter of this fiscal year. Net income was $39.6 million for the period, which compares to a loss of $119.9 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

Chief Executive Officer, Bill Lovette, commented at the time: “We are encouraged to see the benefits of our strategy and the improvement in our operations over the past year reflected in the best results we have had in the first calendar quarter since 2005.”

Sanderson Farms, Inc. of the US has reported net sales for the second quarter of the 2012 financial year of $595.0 million compared with $479.3 million for the same period a year ago.

Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc. said: “The results for our second quarter of fiscal 2012 reflect improved market conditions driven primarily by a decrease in the supply of poultry products. Our net sales were 24.1 per cent higher than during the second quarter of fiscal 2011, reflecting increased production and higher average sales prices of chicken.”

Less positive news is coming out of France. According to reports there, poultry processing giant, Doux, could go into receivership as soon as 1 June because of mounting debts. The company recently handed over the operations of its Brazilian poultry processing arm, Frangosul, to JBS. For unspecified reasons, CEO Guy Odri, who has been in charge of the company since 2003, was suspended last week, along with the Company’s general secretary, Herrick Pinguet.

And finally, turning to bird flu news, scientists in Singapore have developed a H5N1 bird flu test kit that can rapidly detect all existing strains of the H5N1 viruses in a single test with almost 100 per cent accuracy, within a few hours. A 10-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the country’s third fatality from the disease this year.