Brazil-based meat and poultry processor JBS SA has had its ratings upgraded by Moody’s Investors Service, JBS officials announced on April 13.

Moody's upgraded JBS S.A.'s corporate family ratings from a Ba3 rating to Ba2. Moody's also upgraded the company subsidiary JBS USA’s senior unsecured ratings to Ba2 and senior secured ratings to Ba1. The outlook for the ratings is stable.

According to Moody's: "The upgrade reflects primarily the improvement observed in JBS' credit metrics resulted from the strong performance of key business segments and the rapid, profitable expansion into the processed food business in Brazil, which has already contributed higher margins and will allow for a more stable cash generation going forward."


Moody's also highlighted the global strength of JBS' operations as one of the world's largest protein producers and its diversification in terms of protein products.


This upgrade reflects the company's strong financial position and its commitment to operational excellence, focus on free cash flow generation and continuous deleveraging, according to a press release from JBS.  

JBS in recent months has been actively growing through acquisitions. It’s most recent acquisition involved the purchase of Primo Group, a a leading producer of ham, bacon, pork, and continental smallgoods in Australia. That transaction was valued at US$1.125 billion. However, the company earlier stated it did not intend to pursue any further acquisitions in 2015.