Astral warns of weaker earnings

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Astral warns of weaker earnings

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Published Date: 2019-05-02 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Astral warns of weaker earnings

The poultry producer says feed prices are up while selling prices have fallen.

Astral Foods expects to report a big drop in first-half earnings due to rising feed prices and lower selling prices for its chickens.

In a trading statement, the poultry producer said earnings and headline earnings per share for the six months to end-March would be between 50% and 55% down on last year. Apart from higher feed prices, it said it faced an increase in other production-related costs. This was exacerbated by lower selling prices for poultry products.

Last year the group benefitted from low feed costs following a record maize crop and stronger selling prices for poultry products after Avian Influenza resulted in a shortage of broiler chickens. However, when it presented last year's results in November, it warned that raw material prices were in an upward trend and consumer disposable income was under pressure. In February, it said sales in the three months to end-December were disappointing and in line with reports from a number of the country's retailers.

Its shares rose 2.5% to R182 on Tuesday.





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