Russian Cherkizovo's H1 poultry, pork sales rise

MOSCOW, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Russian meat firm Cherkizovo CHEq.L boosted poultry sales by 5 percent and pork sales by 8 percent in the first half of 2009, although processed meat sales declined 14 percent due to lower consumption in the crisis. Cherkizovo sold its products at higher prices in rouble terms, although depreciation of the Russian currency led to a decline in dollar prices, the company said on Wednesday.

“Despite the challenging economic conditions and lower consumer spending in the first half year, we saw favourable rouble pricing and sales trends for our products,” chief executive Sergei Mikhailov said in a statement.

“We remain cautiously optimistic about consumption patterns and pricing trends for our products for the rest of the year.”

Cherkizovo said poultry sales volumes rose to 92,840 tonnes in the first half of 2009. Prices rose 16 percent in rouble terms to 72.32 roubles per kg, but fell 15 percent in dollar terms to $2.19 per kg. Pork sales rose to 21,250 tonnes, with prices up 23 percent in rouble terms to 75.41 roubles per kg, but down 11 percent to $2.28 per kg in dollar terms.

Reduced sales of low-margin processed meat products and lower consumption outside Russia’s major cities contributed to a 14 percent drop in first-half meat sales to 61,550 tonnes.

Average prices per kg for the meat processing division rose 17 percent to 111.43 roubles, but in dollar terms fell 15 percent to $3.37.

(Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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