Brazilian food group Perdigão yesterday (14 May) followed local rival Sadia in posting a first-quarter net loss.

Perdigão, which is in talks with Sadia over a possible venture, booked a net loss of BRL226m (US$107.8m) due to a tax loss on its Perdigão Agroindustrial subsidiary.

Stripping out that charge, Perdigão said its net loss for the three months to the end of March would have stood at BRL94m.

EBITDA reached BRL117.8m, compared to BRL186m a year earlier. The result was equivalent to a 4.5% margin against 7.6% in the first quarter of 2008.

However, the group’s sales rose by 7% to BRL3bn thanks to an 8.3% rise in domestic revenues.

Exports were up 4.4% at BRL1.1bn, Perdigão said, although the company said it had suffered from a fall in export prices during the quarter.

“[The] quarterly results reflect a tumultuous international scenario,” Perdigão said. “The principal factors responsible for narrower margins in the period were the sharp decline in export market prices, oversupply in the domestic market and increased production costs and selling expenses due to the loss of exports sales.”