Astral Foods announces positive results
Agri-poultry firm Astral Foods has reported solid
increase in revenue and profit for the six months ended 31 March 2007, despite
significantly higher raw material prices.
revenue increased 14% to R2,928 million and
operating profit increased 10% to R456 million.
The Poultry Division increased revenue by 9% to R1,999 million, but
operating profit fell by 5% to R279 million.
Demand for chicken remains strong. The average selling prices of poultry
meat increased by 7%, insufficient to compensate for the 27% increase in feed
prices. Operating margins dropped as a result from 16% to 14%.
Two major capital expansion projects are underway at Earlybird which will
increase production from 2.1 million broilers per week to 2.5 million. This
expansion will also increase the product mix and flexibility in the processing
plants at a total cost of R358 million. The projects are well underway and are
expected to be fully operational during the last quarter of the current
Nick Wentzel, Astral CEO, said: "Despite unfavorable factors, the Group
still managed to show an improved performance as compared to the corresponding
period of the previous year and posted a solid increase in both revenue and
profit for the first half of the financial year. Tight cost controls and volume
increases of 4% and 2% in the Animal Nutrition and Poultry divisions
respectively, underpinned these sound results.â€
â€œWe are delighted with this outcome, given the difficult trading
conditions and input cost pressures,â€ added Wentzel.
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