Pilgrim's Corp. has posted a net income of $39.6 million for its first quarter of the 2012 fiscal year, a significant improvement over the $119.9 million loss the company posted in the first quarter of 2011, according to Pilgrim's latest report.
The results are the best the company has seen in the first quarter since 2005, said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's CEO. "We've accomplished a lot over the past year and are clearly headed in the direction we want to be," said Lovette. "This quarter confirms our belief — the industry can be profitable even at varying grain price points given the right focus on discipline." But as a company and as an industry, the shift needs to continue towards valuing the whole bird and not relying on high breast meat prices to carry the margin, according to Lovette. Volatility in the commodity markets is now the norm and must be considered — along with cost containment — as a standard part of production planning in order to maintain profitability long term.