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Beef giant JBS reports steep first quarter losses as foreign exchange fluctuations erode bottom line

15 May 2020

Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA reported a steep 6 billion reais ($1.03 billion) net loss in the first quarter from foreign exchange impacts.

According to reporting from Reuters, JBS warned that the coronavirus pandemic may affect results in the following quarters.

Excluding foreign exchange effects, the company's net profit would have been 803 million reais. In the first quarter of 2019, JBS recorded a net profit of about 1 billion reais.

Since overall meat sales remained robust in domestic and export markets despite COVID-19, the company reported a 27 percent rise in net revenues to 56.5 reais this quarter.

Globally, the effects of the pandemic will possibly continue to disrupt the business, capital markets and economies worldwide for some time, in JBS' view.

The US beef unit reported net revenue of $5.2 billion in the quarter, an increase of 3.1 percent compared to the same year-ago quarter, driven by a 4.2 percent increase in volume sold. This offset the 1.1 percent reduction in the average price of beef, JBS said.

In Brazil, where JBS is headquartered, the company furloughed beef plant workers between 19 March and 9 April in response to pandemic, without saying how many sites were affected.

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