Tyson returns to profitability in year

by Staff
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SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Operational improvements and an increase in gross margins helped Tyson Foods, Inc. return to profitability during fiscal year 2010.

For the year ended Oct. 2, the company posted income of $780 million, equal to $2.13 per share on the common stock, which compared with a loss of $547 million during the previous year. Sales for the year were $28,430 million, up 6% from $26,704 million during fiscal 2009.

“Our results this quarter and this year were directly due to our diversified protein business models and our operational improvements, which have raised the level of expectations for Tyson’s performance,” said Donnie Smith, president and chief executive officer. “We produced record sales and earnings despite some market headwinds. Operating margins for the year were in or above the normalized ranges in each of our four segments. We generated more than $1.5 billion in operating income. Strong cash flows allowed us to repurchase or redeem nearly $1 billion of notes in the fiscal year. This reduced gross debt to $2.5 billion and net debt to $1.6 billion, bringing our debt to its lowest level in nearly a decade.”

During the year the chicken segment had operating income of $519 million, up from a loss of $157 million during the previous year. The segment had sales of $10,062 million, up 4% from $9,660 million during fiscal 2009.

Operating income within the beef segment was $542 million, which compared with a loss of $346 million during the previous year. Sales for the segment were $11,707 million, up 7% from $10,937 million.

The pork segment posted operating income of $381 million, up significantly from $160 million during the previous year. The segment had sales of $4,552 million, up 17% from $3,875 million.

For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 2, the company as a whole had income of $213 million, or 58c per share, which compared with a loss of $457 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $7,441 million, up 3% from $7,214 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

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