The company ended 2018 with net revenue hitting R$181.7 billion (Brazilian real), equivalent to US$49.7bn. Gross profits totalled R$26.3bn, an increase of 10.8%. Its full year adjusted EBITDA was R$14.8bn, 10.7% higher than 2017.
There were strong results across its divisions.
JBS USA Beef (including Australia and Canada) posted net revenue of R$78.6bn in 2018, which represented an increase of 13.7% compared to 2017.
JBS said that in North America, notably in the US, the fundamentals of the beef industry continued to be solid and favourable to cattle producers and processors, as cattle supply continued to grow and processing capacity remained the same.
In its results, it said: “The strong US economy, coupled with the low unemployment rate, are promoting beef consumption and growing demand, resulting in higher margins for the US beef industry.”
JBS Australia also improved performance compared to the prior year as cattle supply increased and exports to China and other Asian countries grew, it said.
JBS USA Pork saw positive results as well, with net revenue of R$20.8bn in 2018, an increase of 4.8% on 2017.
JBS said that pork processing capacity in the US grew, which in turn affected sales prices of pork meat in the domestic market.
Meanwhile, chicken manufacturer Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (PPC) endured a “very challenging environment” in commodity chicken, resulting from a slower-than-expected recovery from weather disruptions. This was partly offset by an improvement in operating results from Prepared Foods, which recorded a 15% increase in volume sold, JBS said.
Despite this, it posted net revenue of R$39.9bn in 2018, which represented an increase of 16.2% on 2017.
PPC also improved its performance in Europe, but it was affected by higher feed costs as a result of a drought, which would be reflected in Moy Park prices in the coming quarters, said the firm.
Its Seara division, which manages a wide range of brands including Seara, Doriana, Delicata and Texas Burger, posted net revenue of R$17.7bn, 1.1% up on 2017.