US egg producer Cal-Maine Foods saw its profits drop for the first nine months of the year as demand remained weak among restaurant and foodservice customers.

For the nine months ended 27 February, the firm earned US$46.8m compared to $69.2m in the previous year. Net sales dropped to $688.1m from $715.2m in 2008.

 

Net sales for the third quarter edged up to $271.2m from $270m in 2008, while net income increased to $34.5m from $30.8m in the comparable period of the prior year.

 

Chairman and CEO Fred Adams said he was "pleased" with the company's third-quarter numbers.

“We benefitted from a favorable balance of supply and demand for eggs during the quarter, and our sales at the retail level were very good. Restaurant and other food service sales continued to reflect weak demand as consumers are not dining out as frequently in this economic environment," Adams said.

He added that egg product sales were “fairly good”.

“Our feed costs were also lower for the quarter compared with the prior-year period, improving our profitability. Overall, our management team did a good job and all of our operations are running smoothly,” he said. “We continue to see a favourable balance between egg supply and egg demand for the coming year. However, feed costs could continue to be volatile.”