US meat processor Swift, which is not a public company but has publicly traded debt, reported net sales of US$8.4m for its third quarter ended 26 February to the Securities and Exchange Commission. This represents a decline of 0.4% from the same period of the previous year. However, for the first time in a year beef sales for the quarter increased.

US Beef was the only of Swift's units to post gains in the quarter, with sales increasing by 3% over the third quarter of last year. The unit posted sales of almost $1.4bn for the quarter, an increase of  $39.6m.

In a statement released on Friday (7 April), the company reported that the increase in beef profits was due to a price hike of 4.6% on sales volumes that were down about 1.6% from the previous year.

Swift's Pork interest reported the worst performance for the quarter, as profits were hit by an 11.9% drop in prices despite a 5.9% increase in sales volume. Swift's Australian Beef earnings fell due to a 3.5% decrease in prices and a 3.5% decrease in the exchange rate between the Australian and US dollar, the filing reports.