Shares in US poultry group Sanderson Farms rose today (28 May) after the company booked a jump in quarterly profits.

The company saw second-quarter net income reach US$26.2m in the three months to 30 April, compared to US$6.2m a year earlier.

Sanderson said strong retail demand for chicken and the falling costs of corn and soybean meal had helped its bottom line.

Sales feel from US$433.9m to US$426.8m during the quarter, denting a rise in half0year revenues, which were up 2.4% at US$815.6m.

First-half net income rose from US$12.4m a year earlier to US$19.5m this year.

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“We are cautiously optimistic as we head into the summer months and what is typically a period of better demand for chicken,” said chairman and CEO Joe Sanderson, Jr.

The US poultry sector has cut production to boost prices but Mr Sanderson warned that US consumer sentiment remained “uncertain”.

“While our industry has never gone through the summer demand season with five to six percent less chicken, we have also never gone through the summer months with the economy and the American consumers as uncertain and cautious as they are today,” he said.

Shares in Sanderson were up 2.7% at US$43.16 at 12:10 EST today.