Chicken feed big money for Astral

SOUTH AFRICA, 19 November 2018 - Lower chicken feed prices helped Astral Foods nearly double its net profit while selling the same amount of meat
calendar icon 19 November 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

The volume of chicken Astral sold during its 2018 financial year grew just 0.2 per cent to 811 ton, the company said on Monday in its results statement for the year to end-September.

According to BusinessDay, revenue rose 4.5 percent to R13bn while net profit jumped 88.5 percent to R1.4bn.

"Feed costs reduced notably in the second half of the 2017 financial year, and this continued throughout the period under review, contributing significantly to Astral’s earnings for the full year," Astral CEO Chris Schutte said in the results statement.

Feed prices account for about 67 percent of the wholesale cost of a broiler, Schutte said.

Its 2018 financial year profitability was also boosted by no outbreaks of bird flu during the reporting period.

Astral along with other South African poultry producers have lobbied the government for protection from foreign competitors. According to Astral, about 45 per cent of chicken sold in SA is imported.

“Poultry imports into the country continued unabated, with imports from the EU reducing considerably due to the outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu in those exporting countries; with a swing in imports towards Brazil and the US,” Schutte said.

In contrast with Pioneer Foods, which also reported improved profitability on Monday morning, Astral is passing the benefits of better rainfall on to its shareholders.

Astral declared a R10.50 final dividend, taking the total for the 2018 financial year to R20.50, nearly double the previous year’s R10.55.

It is raising its dividend despite a R1.1bn capital expenditure programme aimed at raising its poultry production by 20 per cent over the next three years.

(USD$1 = R14.02)

Click here to read the full article from Business Day

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