SOUTH AFRICA – Astral Foods Limited, South Africa’s leading integrated poultry producer has reported a 21.9% rise in full year revenue in the year ended September 2022, to R19.3 billion (US$1.12 billion), compared to the prior year’s R15.9 billion (US$921m).

The strong performance is linked to its diversified operation with the Poultry Division contributing 81%, Feed Division 17% and Other Africa Division 2% to total external revenue.

The increase in revenue by R3.4 billion (US$196.9m) was mainly attributable to an increase from the broiler operations of the Poultry Division contributing R2.8 billion (US$162.2m), which was the direct result of a growth in broiler sales volumes as well as a recovery in the selling price of poultry.

The operating profit margin increased to 7.4%, generating R1.2 billion (US$69.5m) in operating cash flow during the year, after funding working capital expansion and tax payments.

The cash generated was applied to fund investing activities of R179 million (US$10.3m), financing activities of R156 million (US$9.04m) as well as R457 million (US$26.4m) in dividend payments.

A net cash inflow for the year of R406 million (US$23.5m) is reported and the Group remains in a net cash surplus position.

Intently looking at operations under its Poultry Division, revenue increased by 21.1% to R15.8 billion (US$915.4m) supported by an increase in broiler sales volumes and a partial recovery in poultry selling prices, together with improved sales of broiler parent stock into the external market.

Broiler slaughter volumes increased by 7.7% benefiting from the Festive expansion volumes with sales volumes increasing by 8.9% for the year under review, up 42 630 tons on the back of higher slaughter volumes.

Broiler sales realisations increased by 12.5%, reflecting an effort to recover the significant increase in feed prices on the back of higher maize and soya meal costs, as well as rapidly rising energy costs through the period under review.

Trading conditions remained under pressure due to record high unemployment levels and weak economic growth, however promotional sales activity by the retailer sector resulted in higher sales volumes for Astral.

Overall, operating profit for the Poultry Division increased by 419.9% to R763 million (US$44.2m).

Meanwhile revenue for the feed division increased by 20.7% to R10.0 billion (US$579.3m) as a direct result of higher selling prices on the back of the increase in raw material costs.

Feed sales volumes increased by 6.6%, as the internal requirement for broiler feed increased by 8.7% due to the strategic expansion in broiler production numbers, with higher external sales volumes of 3.4% reported off the back of an increase in feed sales across most sectors, despite the fact that livestock markets remained under pressure from higher feed prices.

The operating profit for this division increased by 13.6% to R599 million (US$34.7m), but with a decrease in the operating profit margin to 6.0%.

Revenue from continuing operations for the division increased by 62.6% to R471 million (US$27.29m). Both selling prices and sales volumes increased for the year under review, driven by a very good performance from the Zambian operations.

Operating profit from continuing operations increased to R65 million (US$3.77m).

The transactions surrounding the disposal of Astral’s interest in the National Chicks Swaziland joint venture, as well as the assets held within the Mozambican operations were closed during the period under review.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.