Brazil's JBS SA, the world's largest meat producer by sales, said in a statement that despite fourth-quarter profits being more than double from last year on higher revenues in South America, it missed analyst expectations due to increased operating costs.
Based in São Paulo, JBS posted unadjusted consolidated earnings for the period between October-December of 140.7 million reais (just over $60 million), up from 66.4 million reais in the same period the previous year, but far below the estimate of 374 million reais in a Thomson Reuters poll of analysts. JBS explained that sales costs doubled from a year earlier, and increased 35% from the previous quarter. But revenue was up 25% from a year previous to over 27 billion reais due to strong sales at JBS's Mercosul unit. Also, EBITDA was up to just above 1.8 billion reais, up 9.6% compared to the previous year, and the poll forecasted 1.78 billion reais.
Since acquiring Seara from rival Marfrig SA, JBS has become the world's biggest beef and poultry producer.
In a statement, JBS CEO Wesley Batista said that he expects the value of sales abroad to reach $15 billion this year, up 20% from 2013, and that hosting the World Cup would also boost domestic sales.