Poultry company Pilgrim’s Pride has announced a rise in net income for its third quarter ended 2 July 2005 to $75.6m, compared with $9.8m for the same period last year, despite a fall in sales.

Net sales for the quarter were $1.440bn compared with net sales of $1.448bn for the same period last year.

For the nine months ended 2 July 2005, the company reported net income of $190.3m, compared with net income of $53.1m for the nine months ended 3 July 2004. The company also reported net sales for the first nine months of $4.184bn compared with net sales of $3.877bn for the same period last year.

“Increased protein demand, excellent results from our Mexico operations, and reduced feed ingredient costs all contributed to our record third fiscal quarter and first nine months’ results,” said O B Goolsby, president and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride. “We remain committed to positioning the company to meet the growing consumer demand for high-quality, convenient poultry meat proteins. We will continue working to develop new products that allow our customers to capitalize on these market developments and expect continued growth ahead due to consumer trends and demographics changes.”

“This was an exceptional quarter and first nine months for Pilgrim’s Pride and we are looking forward to the rest of this fiscal year where we expect many of these positive trends to continue,” he said.