US poultry company Pilgrim's Pride Corporation today (Monday) reported net income rose to $56.4m for the second quarter ended 2 April 2005, compared with net income of $33.0m in the same period a year ago.

The company also reported net sales for the second quarter of $1.375bn, down from net sales of $1.385bn for the same period last year.

For the six months ended April 2, 2005, the  company reported net income rose to $104.9m compared with net income of $43.2m for the year earlier period. Net sales for the first six months were $2.744bn compared with net sales of $2.429bn for the same period last year.

"Our record second fiscal quarter and first six months' performance reflects solid poultry market trends coupled with the continued strong growth of our chicken business, lower average feed costs when compared to the prior year and excellent results from our Mexico operations," said president and CEO O B Goolsby.

"We continue our focus this year on product mix improvements more so than unit volume growth and the penetration of our prepared foods business into an ever-widening customer base throughout the foodservice, retail and quick service categories," he said. "We expect that poultry market prices will remain solid and feed costs will be considerably lower than in the prior fiscal year for the remainder of fiscal year 2005. These factors, combined with a strong export demand, give us reason to maintain our positive industry outlook for the rest of fiscal 2005."