Sanderson Farms sustains loss of $43 million in year

by Staff
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LAUREL, MISS. — Sanderson Farms, Inc. suffered a loss of $43,129,000 in the year ended Oct. 31. This compared income of $78,833,000 million during the previous year.

Sales for the year were $1,723,583,000, up 17% from $1,474,844,000 million during the previous year.

"We experienced challenging market conditions through the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008," said Joe Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. "Sales increased over the same quarter last year reflecting the company’s production growth and our annual sales were a record high for Sanderson Farms. However, like others in our industry, our business was affected by a decline in demand for chicken products from food service and casual dining customers, resulting in very weak market prices for white meat. Consumer demand for chicken products at the retail level has remained relatively stable but restaurant traffic has been depressed due to current economic concerns. Our export customers have experienced difficulty obtaining the credit necessary to buy product, causing a decline in dark meat prices in October and November. While feed costs have moderated, they remain relatively high compared to historical prices and are negatively affecting profit margins."

For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, the company sustained a loss of $51,923,000, which compared with net income of $24,071,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $460,226,000, up 8% from $426,909,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

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