Poultry producer Astral Foods said its diluted headline earnings per share jumped 93.9 percent to 3.7 cents in the year ended September 30. Photo: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Poultry producer Astral Foods said on Monday its diluted headline earnings per share jumped 93.9 percent to 3.708 cents in the year ended September 30.

The company's external revenue increased by 4.5 percent to R13 billion, supported by higher poultry selling prices as well as volumes across all divisions.

This together with materially lower feed raw material costs, helped drive operating profit up 78.7 percent to a record R1.9 billion, resulting in an operating profit margin of 15 percent.

Astral declared a final dividend of 1.050 cents per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 2.050 cents.

MAY EARNINGS 

Astral Foods in May reported improved results despite the bird flu period.

The company managed to report improved results in the six months to end March, despite avian influenza in the period.

Chief executive Chris Schutte said that although the avian influenza strain appeared to be under control, the winter season could see the disease resurface and Astral continued to monitor the situation. 

Despite the challenges Astral Foods managed to report a 15 percent increase in revenue to R6.7 billion, up from R5.8bn, mainly on the back of improved poultry supply and demand balance, which gave both volume and price support. 

Operating profit increased by 392.6 percent to R1.04bn, up from R212 million, predominantly because of the significant improvement in the poultry division’s profitability. The group’s operating profit margin increased to 15.7 percent, up from 3.7 percent as compared to last year. 

- BUSINESS REPORT/ANA