A decline in consumers dining out resulted in Sanderson Farms posting a loss in first quarter 2009, which ended 31 January, of US$6,749,000.
These results compared to a net income of $6,222,000, the company earned during the same period during 2008.
“The results for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 reflect prevailing economic conditions and reduced consumer demand for protein consumed away from home,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and CEO. “Demand for chicken products held steady in the retail grocery market, but the slowdown in restaurant traffic continues to adversely affect sales to our food service customers.”
He went on to say that while market prices improved during the quarter compared to where the markets stood at the end of fiscal 2008, it was not enough to offset costs. “Grain prices for the quarter were actually down sequentially compared to our fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, but were still higher than last year’s first quarter.”
The company said the costs it incurred for corn and soybean meal increased 4.5% and 9.2%, respectively, compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2008.