Russian poultry firm Cherkizovo Group saw its sales volumes edge up for the first nine months of the year, boosted by favourable rouble pricing and continued sales momentum.

Total sales volumes in the poultry division in the first nine months of 2009 gained 1% to around 138,920 tonnes compared to around 137,260 tonnes in 2008.

Prices for Cherkizovo poultry sales increased by 19% from 62.03 roubles per kg in 2008 to 73.88 roubles per kg in the 2009 period (excluding VAT).

As a result of the 35% depreciation of the rouble over this period, prices in dollar terms decreased by 12% from US$2.58 per kg in the first nine months of 2008 to $2.27 per kg in the same period of 2009 (excluding VAT).

Sales volumes in the pork division in the first nine months of 2009 increased 23% to around 35,570 tonnes compared to around 28,870 tonnes in the prior year, reflecting the growing production of the new farms at Lipetsk and Tambov.

Sergey Mikhailov, CEO of Cherkizovo Group said: "While the current economic environment continues to exert a somewhat negative influence on consumption patterns, our performance reflects the impact of favourable rouble pricing and continued sales momentum.

He added: "The group continues to invest in operational capacity and efficiency improvements and expects further volume gains in its pork segment. The management remains optimistic about the outlook for the final quarter of the year."

In the first nine months of 2009, prices in the pork division increased in rouble terms by 14% from 66.10 roubles per kg in 2008 to 75.38 roubles per kg in the same period of 2009. In dollar terms, prices decreased by 16% from $2.75 per kg of live weight in the first nine months of 2008 to $2.32 per kg of live weight in the same period of 2009.

In the meat processing division, the company continued to see decreased sales volumes of lower-priced products, and this, together with lower consumption in the regions of Russia due to the challenging economic environment, affected the performance of the division. Sales volumes dropped by 13% to 95,370 tonnes.