Brazilian meat group Marfrig hailed its "best performance to date" today (16 May) as it unveiled a jump in sales and profits.

The company, which acquired various businesses including Seara and Keystone Foods last year, said that net sales increased by 64.3% in the three months to the end of March, climbing to BRL5.25bn (US$3.21bn).

The group was also able to reverse the losses it booked during the first quarterof last year, with profits totalling BRL25.2m this quarter versus a loss of BRL52m in the year-ago period.

Commenting on the result, Marfrig said that its newly-acquired Beef Brasil and Seara businesses drove market share gains in the group's Brazilian market.

Marfrig indicated that synergies at Seara, as well as cost-cutting at Keystone Foods, Beef Brasil and in Europe, allowed it to balance higher grain prices and the impact of accrued interest on net profit.

"Marfrig enjoyed its best-ever first-quarter revenue performance during what is seasonally the slowest quarter of the year. We continued to build revenues in a challenging environment around the world and extending our reach through a local presence in several countries to achieve synergies among our divisions," said CEO and founder Marcos Molina. "Our top-line result demonstrates our ability to cope in the toughest conditions. Our strategy is to ensure we continue to balance the effects of grain on customer prices, control working capital, improve cash flow and keep increasing our offer of high-quality products and speciality dishes."