Brazilian poultry exporter Brasil Foods has recorded an increase in first-quarter earnings boosted by lower feed costs, higher sales and a positive domestic performance.

The world’s largest poultry exporter reported a net income of BRL358.5m (US$178.5m) in the three months to the end of March. This compared to earnings of BRL179m last year and was equivalent to a net margin of 5% against 2.4% in the prior year period.

Brasil Foods said the improved performance was a result of a positive contribution from all segments of the business, but particularly from its domestic market, which accounted for 78.5% of the operating result on a margin of 13.4% in the quarter.

Operating profit jumped 94.5% to BRL592m, while the company reported net sales growth of 13.8% to BRL$7.2bn.

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