UPDATE 1-Brazil's JBS says revenue to grow 20 percent in 2014

Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:40pm EST

SAO PAULO Feb 21 (Reuters) - Net revenues for Brazil's JBS SA, the world's biggest meat producer, will likely grow about 20 percent in 2014, in line with recent years, the company's Chief Executive Wesley Batista said on Friday.

Much of that increase will be driven by Brazil's domestic market despite weaker economic growth, he said at the launch of a marketing campaign for JBS's local Friboi beef brand.

"It's more due to domestic growth, this increase in revenue," Batista said, citing better distribution and an expected 15 percent increase in slaughters at its Brazilian operations.

A weaker Brazilian currency had increased revenue in reais coming in from JBS operations in Australia and the United States, he noted. The weaker currency also makes Brazil's exports more competitive.

After the purchase of processed foods brand Seara earlier this year from rival Marfrig SA, JBS has become the world's biggest poultry producer as well as the world's biggest beef producer. It is now focusing on decreasing net debt.

Batista said the company could open 10,000 new points of sale in 2014, which would grow its client base.

In November, JBS posted revenue of 24.2 billion reais in the third quarter of 2013, up 25 percent from the same period a year earlier. Fourth-quarter earnings will be released on March 24.

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