(Adds details from earnings statement)
SAO PAULO, May 13 (Reuters) - Brazil-based food processor JBS SA said on Monday that net profit rose by almost 116% in the first quarter, after the company, which produces proteins on four continents, registered revenue growth in all of its business segments.
JBS reported first-quarter net income of 1.09 billion reais ($273 million), almost double what analysts had expected.
The company said overall net revenues rose by 11.5% in the period to 44.37 billion reais, on the back of the strength of its U.S. beef division and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp U.S. poultry division. In each of those segments, net revenues rose by more than 15%.
The company’s Seara processed foods division in Brazil reported a margin contraction and reduction of sales volumes, however, because of the loss of authorization that some of its plants had to export to Saudi Arabia.
JBS said Seara increased prices by more 16.6% on average in the quarter but that it was not enough to cover a rise in the price of raw materials.
Going forward, JBS expects that the effects of African swine fever, a deadly hog virus that swept through China, will likely boost demand for all proteins, not just pork, that Seara produces in Brazil.
In a securities filing, JBS also said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a measure of operating profit known as EBITDA, came in at 3.2 billion reais, a 14.4 percent rise from the same period a year ago.
JBS’s EBITDA was roughly in line with analysts’ estimates of 3.1 billion reais.
The company also highlighted that free cash flow generation after investments was a negative 712 million reais, as the first quarter is seasonally a period when the company needs to pay suppliers and build inventory.
$1 = 3.9928 reais Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney