Soccer World Cup: Good and Bad for Poultry Industry

SOUTH AFRICA - The country's leading poultry producers have different opinions on how the World Cup will impact their businesses.
calendar icon 17 March 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

The South African poultry industry could present a mixed view of sales during the World Cup as groups such as Astral Foods and Country Bird catered to differing markets, according to Business Report of South Africa.

Astral Foods chief executive, Chris Schutte, commented that his company did not expect an increase in sales during the World Cup, when an estimated 450,000 tourists would visit the country over a period of six weeks.

"If you take a look at the international per capita consumption rate of poultry, it is obvious that the World Cup will not have a major impact on our poultry outlook," he said, adding that Astral Foods feeds 50 million people a week.

He added: "The World Cup will hardly have an impact on our production capabilities and it might only impact stock levels by between one and two per cent."

However, Robbie Taylor, the financial director of Country Bird, believes there will definitely be a benefit for his group because the fast food restaurant industry is one of its major customers.

He said weak demand had put the poultry market under pressure during the past six months but that the group expects a significant upturn during the World Cup.

He added: "We have strategically important partnerships with quick service restaurants like KFC and Nando's, which bodes well for our group as tourists will visit these restaurants during the tournament."

Mr Taylor added that Country Bird served a similar market to Rainbow Chicken, which also expected a sales surge in June and July.

He said: "It depends on the sales mix and market," adding that Astral Foods and Sovereign Foods, which traditionally serve supermarket businesses, would likely not experience a significant increase in volumes in that time.

Peter Wille, an equity analyst from BoE Private Clients, said poultry producers serving the fast food industry should perform better during the World Cup: "Rainbow and Country Bird would likely benefit," he said.

Business Report states that, at the end of last year, Rainbow reported that it had continued to invest in its food-service business, while the Rainbow Outbound Supply Chain had been wholly integrated with the primary and secondary warehousing and transport services. This service supplies goods to Spur, Nando's and Chicken Licken, which are key franchises for the group during the tournament.

Mr Schutte added that local poultry producers had a bigger challenge at hand in the managing of the distribution of the product.

He said: "Because of all the hype about South Africa's hosting of the event, we will need to be prepared to have the correct infrastructure for distribution."

He maintained that the cost of feed, which is the biggest cost component in the production of chicken, had decreased in the past few months, which led to excellent results. "We've also received good national health status of our poultry, which had a direct positive impact on production," he added.

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