Russian meat firm Cherkizovo posted a 27% increase in 2008 net income today (9 April) driven by the purchase of new pork facilities and product mix improvements.

The company said it remains “encouraged” by its prospects for 2009 as “relentless focus” on execution leaves it “well-positioned for growth”.

Net income for the year reached US$78.1m compared to $61.6m in 2007 and adjusted EBITDA increased 31% year-on-year to $152.8m.

Overall sales increased by 42% to $1.2bn in 2008, with meat processing accounting for 49%, poultry for 42% and pork for 9% of the group’s sales. 

The company’s pork and poultry divisions showed the strongest growth in the year with the pork division growing at 61% and the poultry division at 70%.

Despite this, the company said that “difficult conditions” remain in place, and further support is necessary to ensure that the company continues to deliver against its objectives.

“The company has current debt commitments in place, and the ability to service those commitments and complete advanced investment projects, to a large extent depends on the overall financial and economic situation, and continued support from Cherkizovo’s banking partners,” said CEO Sergey Mikhailov.

The firm said its short-term debt stood at $236m as of the end of 2008, slightly up from $229m at the end of 2007, while its long-term debt and finance leases fell to $326m from $425m over the past year.