Brazil meatpacker JBS to invest up to 1.2 bln reais in 2013

SAO PAULO, March 14 Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:13am EDT

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SAO PAULO, March 14 (Reuters) - Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA expects investments of between 1 billion and 1.2 billion reais ($507 million and $609 million) in 2013, Chief Executive Wesley Batista said in a conference call on Thursday.

JBS posted fourth-quarter profits of 66.4 million reais ($33.85 million) on Wednesday, well below estimates by a poll of analysts this week despite stable prices and rising volumes of meat sales that boosted its bottom line.

Batista said the company will likely post better earnings this year than in 2012.

($1 = 1.97 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Fabiola Gomes and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)