Brazilian food processing giant to close plants

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

Marfrig Alimentos SA to close processing facilities

Related tags: Food, Brazil

After tough losses in the second quarter, Marfrig Alimentos SA, the second largest food processing firm in Brazil, has announced it plans to offload and close plants to alleviate its debt.

The firm reportedly posted a loss for its second straight quarter. By selling three production plants, and shuttering or selling four distribution units in Brazil, the company hopes to cut its debt by up to 2 billion reais (about €770 million), according to CEO of the Seara Foods unit Sergio Rial.

Marfrig Alimentos specializes in food products made from poultry, beef, pork, lamb and fish. It also produces pastas, margarines, ready-to-eat meals, frozen vegetables and desserts. The company posted a first-quarter net loss of 81.2 million reais (€31.4) compared with a profit of 34.5 million reais a year ago, firm officials reported.

Conserving costs

In a press statement, Rial expressed optimism that debt-paring and cost-cutting measures will help get the company back on an even keel.

“We will look to keep lower debt levels and focus on extracting more value to shareholders,” he said. “Results will improve as we cut costs and grain prices are expected to fall."

Mitigating factors

Rial added that the cost of integrating plants acquired from BRF SA (Brazil’s largest food processing company) added to the overall losses. Also, the cost of corn and soybeans used to feed the firm’s livestock also saw prices increase.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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