May 14, 2013 / 10:41 PM / 5 years ago

Brazilian meatpacker JBS beats first-quarter profit estimates

* Net income at 242.2 mln reais beats estimates in poll

* EBITDA, net revenue miss estimates despite volumes

SAO PAULO, May 14 (Reuters) - JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacker, beat profit estimates in the first quarter after revenue rose faster than costs and expenses, as beef prices and sales volumes in Brazil increased.

The São Paulo-based company earned 242.2 million reais ($120 million) in the first quarter, almost twice the 129.5 million reais profit recorded in the same period a year earlier, a securities filing said on Tuesday. The result beat the average estimate of 118 million reais in a Thomson Reuters poll of five analysts.

Net revenue jumped 21 percent in an annual basis, to 19.5 billion reais. The result missed the 20.4 billion reais estimate in the poll.

Sales volumes and prices for beef rose in Brazil lifting revenue at the meatpacker, the filing said. The start of poultry operations in Brazil also added to revenues, as JBS leased idle capacity from rivals.

The cost of goods sold rose to 17.5 billion reais from 14.4 billion reais a year earlier, while sales, general and administrative expenses rose to 1.6 billion reais from 1.24 billion reais in the first quarter of 2012.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a measure of operational profitability known as EBITDA, rose 26 percent from a year earlier to 879.4 million reais in the first quarter. The poll predicted EBITDA of 913.4 million reais for the quarter.

JBS, which grew from a small slaughterhouse in the midwestern Brazilian state of Goias about 40 years ago into a multinational company with operations in more than a dozen countries, said it generated 58.6 million reais of cash from operations during the first quarter.

Net debt, or total debt excluding the company’s cash holdings, stood unchanged at the equivalent of 3.4 times EBITDA at the end of March, from the previous three months, the filing added.

Management is expected to discuss earnings on Wednesday on a conference call with investors.

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