Integrated poultry producer Astral Foods (ARL) on Monday reported a 31% drop in diluted headline earnings per share to 787 cents for the year ended September‚ from 1‚145c in the previous corresponding period.

“The group’s profits were severely affected by lower profitablity in the poultry segment‚ in spite of improved profits reported from the feed segment‚” Astral said in a note on Monday.

The group’s revenue jumped by 13% to R8.1 billion from R7.2 billion in the previous financial year.

This increase‚ according to the group‚ was due to higher sales realised by both the poultry and feed segments.

Astral declared a final dividend of 336 cents per share‚ a decline of 17% from the previous year’s dividend.

The group expects trading conditions in the first half of the next financial year to remain unchanged.

“Maize and soya pricing‚ as key cost drivers in feed and poultry‚ will remain at higher levels with limited ability to recover the increased production costs in a depressed consumer market‚ exacerbated by high levels of poultry imports and an imbalance in supply and demand‚” Astral said. - I-Net Bridge