US - Big US chicken producer Pilgrim's Pride has posted net income for the fourth quarter of 2015 at $63.1 million compared to the $167.2 million reported in the same period last year.
The company generated $1.21 billion of adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation ("EBITDA") in 2015, compared to $1.35 billion the year before.
"Our case ready and small bird operations continued to deliver strong results in spite of challenges in the export markets, while the weakest chicken cutout in the past five years continued to impact the commodity segments of our business, as well as our Mexico operations.
"Despite the headwinds, our team managed to deliver margins that are above periods when prices were at similar levels. Our performance is commendable and strongly validates the benefits of our strategy," stated Bill Lovette, Chief Executive Officer of Pilgrim's.
"The implementation and execution of our portfolio model over the past five years are critical in supporting our ability to deliver stronger profitability while giving more consistent financial results, as we minimize the impact of specific market conditions in any given segment or geography.
"For example, as part of this operating strategy, in Fresh Chicken we are able to leverage our well-balanced mix of bird sizes to support key customers' needs while in prepared foods, we could utilise our well-regarded Pierce brand to lead our efforts in building and solidifying relationships at key accounts.
"During 2015, we paid out $1.5 billion in special dividend, acquired additional Mexican operations to improve our geographic diversification and competitiveness in one of the strongest emerging markets, and repurchased $99.2 million in shares, signifying our commitment to maximising shareholder value creation while remaining financially disciplined."
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