UPDATE 1-Brasil Foods profit falls 75 pct as grain prices weigh

Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:27pm EST

* Rising soy, corn prices drive up costs

* EBITDA falls 22 pct from year earlier

SAO PAULO Nov 12 (Reuters) - Brasil Foods, the world's largest poultry exporter, posted a 75 percent drop in third-quarter profit from a year ago as high grains prices pressured costs.

The company reported net income of 91 million reais ($44 million) in a securities filing Monday, missing the average forecast of 115.6 million reais in a Reuters poll.

Brasil Foods, like many companies in the animal proteins sector, is struggling with high feed prices after the worst drought in 56 years in the United States sent corn and soybean prices to record highs in September.

The company said the cost of corn rose 26 percent in the third quarter the prior quarter, when it posted a profit of just 6 million reais. Cost of sales rose 20.9 percent in the third quarter from a year ago due in part to "the significant increase in the cost of raw materials - corn and soy - due to damage in the U.S. harvest from drought," the company said in the filing.

Brasil Foods also incurred costs for transferring assets to rival food processor Marfrig Alimentos SA, a deal that was finalized in August. Brazil's antitrust regulator CADE required Brazil Foods to swap some of its assets in order to fully integrate its Sadia and Perdigao units.

"During the third quarter, the company has fully complied with the agreement from CADE ... and as expected such operations have impacted results," Brasil Foods said.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, fell 22 percent to 565 million reais from a year ago but beat an average estimate of 538 million reais in the Reuters poll.

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