French poultry processor Duc saw its losses grow last year despite higher sales as volatile commodity costs and the weak economy weighed on the sector.

Duc booked a net loss of EUR2.2m (US$2.9m) for 2012, compared to a loss of EUR1.4m a year earlier.

Sales increased 4.5% to EUR188.8m thanks in part to a 3.2% gain in volumes. However, Duc said it could not recover higher commodity costs from its retail customers. The company said “unprecedented” inflation in commodity costs had put “serious strains” on the sector.

Nevertheless, Duc said 2012 also presented opportunities. The company teamed up with fellow French food firm Groupe Glon to buy two facilities from rival poultry processor Groupe Doux, which fell into receivership in June.

Duc said its sales for the first half of 2013 “should be satisfactory”. However, it said it remained cautious and pointed to a cut in export subsidies for the poultry sector.