French poultry processor Duc has recorded a 2.5% fall in annual sales to EUR180.6m (US$200.2m).

The firm blamed the fall on a “troubled market”, which saw a decline in poultry consumption as a result of bird flu.

Duc added the outbreak had “significant consequences” for it as many countries, including China and South Africa, closed their borders to French poultry and poultry by-products. Both countries, it said, are “main export outlets” for the group.

The company also saw a fall in the sales of processed poultry products through French supermarkets of EUR3m. Sales from its frozen division fell EUR4m on pricing competition from imports.

Looking forward Duc said it had “no visibility” on how long the effects of bird flu could impact the company. It said it was looking to realise other new opportunities including expansion in “free range”, antibiotic and GMO-free chicken.

Duc will report its full annual results in April.