Tyson Foods, the US meat processor, has embarked on a plan to boost its overseas sales by two-thirds by 2010.

The company has earmarked China, Mexico and South America as its targets and revealed plans to invest in all three markets.

Rick Greubel, president of Tyson International, said Tyson has signed a deal to buy an unnamed poultry business in Brazil.

Tyson has also made early moves to set up two poultry joint ventures in China. In Mexico, Tyson is looking to boost production at its chicken processing operations.

Tyson's goal is to take its international sales from US$3bn during this fiscal year to $5bn by 2010.

"Our global strategy is to target countries where we see the consumption of protein growing rapidly," said Greubel. "This includes gaining access to new markets, as well as expanding business with our existing international customers."

Meanwhile, Dynamic Fuels, Tyson's venture in renewable energy, has chosen a site in the US state of Louisiana to build a plant for producing synthetic fuels made from animal fat.

Yesterday (12 November), Tyson warned that group profits could fall next year amid soaring grain costs.

The note of caution came despite Tyson posting operating income of US$614m for the 12 months to 29 September. That result compared to a loss of $77m last year, results that were hit by restructuring charges.

Tyson posted earnings per share of $0.75 a share for its last fiscal year. However, the company warned that earnings would slip to 0.30-0.70 during the next 12 months.