• Net revenues up on acquisitions
  • Company moves into Q1 profit
  • Cost saving plans ahead of schedule

JBS has reported a strong start to the year with sales growth driving the meat giant back into profit in the first quarter of 2010, as the company benefited from acquisitions and a strong performance in the US.

Net revenue increased by 35.4% to BRL12.55bn (US$6.99bn) in the quarter as a result of the incorporation of local food group Bertin and its recent acquisition of US poultry firm Pilgrim's Pride.

Consolidated EBITDA increased 307.5% compared to the same period in 2009, to BRL862m. Net profis reached BRL$99.4m, against a net loss of BRL322.7m in the same quarter last year.

The company added that its US beef operations posted EBITDA of US$170.5m, on margin of 6%, a record for the first quarter.

"Our first quarter 2010 was all about taking the necessary steps to integrate the deals we made at the end of last year," the company's president Joesley Mendonca Batista said.

"We finalised two transformational transactions in December and, as is our tradition, we moved fast to capture the synergies and implement the integration required to maintain our path towards improved profitability."

Batista added: "The Bertin merger in Brazil and the acquisition of a controlling stake in Pilgrim's Pride in the US were challenges we felt we were ready for, based on our experience of acquiring, turning around and integrating many companies in the past. We are pleased to announce that our integration and cost saving plans are ahead of schedule and we expect our results for the remaining of the year to demonstrate that."

The full results release can be found here.