Cherkizovo Group has recorded an increase in first-quarter net profit driven by a “strong” performance in the firm’s poultry segment, high pork prices and the restructuring of the meat processing division.

For the three months to the end of March the Russian meat processor booked a net profit of US$39.3m, a 114% increase on the prior-year period.

Operating profit soared 98% to $42.2m, the company reported today (23 May). Revenues increased 16% to reach $357.8m.

Sales volumes in Cherkizovo’s poultry division increased by 42% to around 75,860 tonnes in the quarter, reflecting the contribution from the newly-launched sites at Bryansk and sales by Mosselprom, acquired in May last year.

Pork prices, which contributed to the increase in profits, increased by 4% to $2.66 per kg of live weight in the period.

“In the first quarter of 2012 we delivered an excellent performance, in line with our targets,” said CEO Sergey Mikhailov. “As for the pricing environment, we see that poultry prices are growing very slowly and do not expect significant price growth in 2012; we remain confident about the future of the poultry market and continue to invest in poultry production.

“In the pork segment, prices were at historically high levels, supporting healthy margins for the group. In the meat processing segment, prices continued to grow above inflation, representing strengthening consumer confidence and a positive shift in Cherkizovo’s product portfolio towards a larger share of value-added products.”

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