Rainbow Chicken expected earnings a share and headline earnings a share for the six months to December last year to be between 65 percent and 85 percent lower than in the previous comparative period, it said yesterday.

The company said the lower-than-anticipated earnings were mainly due to the record levels of imports and escalating feed raw material input costs.

The resulting oversupply in the local market means the price of chicken in retail bore little reference to its cost of production, and had resulted in reductions in chicken margins, it said.

Interim results for the six month to December are due to be released on February 19. The shares slid 1.19 percent to R16.60. – Staff reporter