May 14, 2015 / 1:36 AM / 3 years ago

Brazil's JBS first-quarter net profit vaults to $457 mln

SAO PAULO, May 13 (Reuters) - Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest beef exporter, said on Wednesday that first-quarter 2015 net profit rocketed to 1.39 billion reais ($457.3 million) from 70 million reais a year earlier.

The 1,892 percent increase in net profit resulted from a jump in operating income to 2.1 billion reais (704.5 percent higher than a year earlier) and a reversal in the net financial results to 83.9 million reais, compared to a negative 869.3 million reais a year earlier.

The company did not specify the reason for the huge leap in profit, but scheduled a conference call on Thursday to discuss results.

JBS’ earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization - a measure of cash flow known as EBITDA - was 2.76 billion reais in the quarter, up 57.6 percent from 1.75 billion reais a year earlier, according to the filing.

Total revenues in the first three months of the year reached 33.8 billion reais, a 28 percent gain over the same period in 2014.

“Our strategy over the last years allowed us to create a global production platform. Today we operate a diversified portfolio, with value-added products and strong brands worldwide,” JBS global CEO Wesley Batista said. “This strategy allows us to generate more solid and consistent results.”

JBS USA Beef, the division that includes U.S.-based companies such as Pilgrim’s Pride and Swift along with meat processing businesses in Australia and Canada, reported net revenues of $5.19 billion, a 14.8 percent expansion over the first quarter of 2014.

JBS USA is usually the biggest contributor to the company’s overall revenues, with 83 percent of net revenue in dollars.

JBS said it ended the quarter with net debt of 33.2 billion reais after acquisition of Primo Group in Australia and Big Frango in Brazil, in addition to the payment of extraordinary dividends at Pilgrim’s Pride, which totaled 5.5 billion reais.

$1 = 3.039 reais Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by David Gregorio

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