Despite ‘challenging’ year, Sanderson sets new sales record

LAUREL — Sanderson Farms Inc. saw net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 of $648.4 million, compared with $559.8 million for the same period a year ago.

For the quarter, the poultry company reported net income of $9.3 million, or $0.41 per share, compared with a net loss of $21.6 million, or $0.97 per share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

Net sales for fiscal 2012 were $2.386 billion, compared with $1.978 billion for fiscal 2011.

Net income for the year totaled $53.9 million, or $2.35 per share, compared with a net loss of $127.1 million, or $5.74 per share, for last year.

“The fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 marked the end of another challenging year for Sanderson Farms and the poultry industry,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms. “We reported record annual sales of $2.386 billion, a 20.6 percent increase over fiscal 2011. However, while poultry markets improved compared to fiscal 2011, grain prices surged to record levels during August as a result of drought conditions across much of the Corn Belt. As a result, the improvement in poultry market prices was offset in part by higher feed costs. Our increased sales and return to profitability during the year reflect higher production as we completed the ramp up to near full production at our Kinston, N.C., facility. For the year, we sold 2.952 billion pounds of dressed poultry, another record, compared with 2.794 billion pounds in fiscal 2011.”

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