US pork and beef processor Swift & Company has reported net sales of US$2.47bn for the second quarter, 6.9% up from last year.

Second-quarter EBITDA reached $32m, up from $2m in the corresponding quarter last year. The company attributed the higher EBITDA to improved profitability at Swift Australia and Swift Beef.

Swift also said that the net sales increase reflected sales growth of 6.3% and 15.9% respectively at Swift Beef and Swift Australia, and a 0.6% net sales increase in Swift Pork. Swift Australia net sales benefited from a 1.0% increase in the US dollar to Australian dollar exchange rate compared to the same quarter last year, the company added.

"Our operational initiatives are delivering the kinds of improvements we had planned," said president and CEO Sam Rovit. "Our Australian management team was able to capitalise on both improved cattle supplies and continued strong international customer demand. Swift Pork's performance continued in line with historical norms and met our profitability expectations. Finally, we improved the operational and financial performance of Swift Beef versus last year despite challenging market conditions in the fall."

Looking at the performance across the divisions, Swift Beef's second-quarter net sales rose by 6.3% to $1.43bn, with divisional losses before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation narrowing to $18m, from $30m last year. Meanwhile, Swift Pork's second-quarter net sales rose by 0.6% to $544m, with EBITDA flat at $26m.

Swift Australia's second-quarter net sales increased by 15.9% to $511m, with EBITDA rising from $6m to $25m on the back of improved gross margins, principally in the grass-fed business.