Brazilian meatpacker JBS earned $650 million in 2014, despite a weak fourth quarter where earnings, at $197 million, were 43% lower than the same quarter a year earlier.
Last year’s rise in JBS revenues was driven by a range of acquisitions that took place in 2014, including the acquisition of controlling stakes in Tyson in Brazil and Mexico. The company’s positive performance was also supported by the US dollar’s gains against the Brazilian real and sales growth at JBS Foods (poultry, pork and processed foods division), JBS Meats, Pilgrim’s Price (US poultry subsidiary), its Australian operations and rising sales on the Asian market.
“In the US, our operations are well tuned and we obtained significant results throughout the year, with management committed to low production costs, high productivity and an optimized sales mix,” said Wesley Batista, Global CEO Global of JBS.
JBS also saw a proportional drop in leveraged debt in 2014. The ratio between the company’s net debt was 3.7 times Ebitda at the end of 2013, but this figure fell to 2.1 times at the end of last year. The company also managed to reduce its debt burden as operating performance improved throughout 2014 and the company managed to increase cash generation.
Revenues rose 23.2% last year at the JBS USA beef operations, including its businesses in Canada, Australia and the USA. US pork sales rose 6.5%, while net revenues at Pilgrim’s improved 3.1%. At JBS Mercosur, net revenues improved 19.5% in 2014, supported by its operations in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
“We are confident that with each passing day, the market has a clearer view of our business and strategy. Our 2014 results are evidence that we are moving in the right direction. In 2015, we will focus on organic growth and look at every area with a view to improving our financial performance, generating further value for our shareholders,” said Batista.