JBS struck two key deals in 2009

JBS struck two key deals in 2009

Brazilian meat giant JBS has booked a substantial increase in net income for 2009, boosted by profits from the Pilgrim’s Pride acquisition towards the end of the year.

For the 12 months to 31 December, the firm earned BRL129.4m (US$72.7m), an almost 400% increase on the previous year.

The figure included income from the purchase of a controlling share of Pilgrim’s Pride on 28 December through its subsidiary JBS US.

Net revenue increased 13.1% to reach BRL34.31bn, while operating income increased 302% to reach BRL340.5m.

The firm said it saw “a more fluid supply” in cattle ranching during the year in Brazil, which helped boost margins.

“As I have said in the past, a crisis for one is an opportunity for others, opportunity to make the acquisitions from which a corporation can emerge from a crisis situation stronger and prepared to grow when economies and consumption resumes growth,” said CEO Joesley Mendonça Batista.

“In 2008, when we saw the crisis looming, we tightened our financials, reduced our leverage and prepared ourselves for the difficult year ahead. It was a decision made in good time. By the second half of 2009, we began to see the road ahead more clearly and were able to take our company to another level by making some relevant acquisitions,” he added.

For the fourth quarter, JBS posted a net profit of BRL127.9m, reversing losses of BRL53.4m in the fourth quarter of 2008. Net revenue was BRL7.41bn, a drop of 23.1% from 2008, mainly due to the appreciation of the Brazilian real against the US dollar.

“Although we made substantial acquisitions during the last year, we continued to maintain a watchful eye on our balance sheet,” said Batista.

“Having acquired a controlling interest in Pilgrim's Pride and merged with Bertin, we made sure that these investments were matched with non debt related cash injections in the company to maintain our leverage at manageable levels. Although we consider our present leverage level comfortable we will be taking measures during this year to reduce this still further.”