Brazilian meat processor Perdigao has reported net sales of 1.2bn reals (US$486m) in the first quarter of 2005, compared with 1.1bn reals in the same period a year ago, but net income was hit by the appreciation of the Brazilian real.

Net income was 71.8m reals, compared with the year earlier figure of 80.3m, but EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization)  rose to 147.3m reals from 146.3m, "due to efficient cost control management, reduction in expenses, improved productivity and better sales performance."

"Perdigao thus repeated the excellent operating performance registered for the average of the four quarters of 2004," it said. "However, the appreciation of the real in relation to the dollar reduced net income by 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year, given that 54.7% of net sales were generated from export business."

"The currency question is not going to restrain our internationalization project, nor will it interfere in our aggressive commercial policy. We are being relatively successful in our attempts to increase prices in all markets," said Perdigao CFO Wang Wei Chang.