Net operating revenue of BRF reached BRL8.2 billion (US$2.3 billion) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 - an increase of 5 percent over the same quarter of the previous year. The growth reflects the progress of the volumes sold especially in Brazil, Turkey, China, and Hong Kong, which together have registered a high of 5.7 percent. Gross profit in the period increased 11.7 percent, reaching BRL1.5 billion (US$420 million). Net losses declined 60.2 percent to BRL114 million (US$31.95 million). Adjusted EBITDA totaled BRL802 million ($224.8 million) -- up 40.7 percent when compared to the same period last year.
In Brazil, the highlight is the volume growth of 9.6 percent, driven by an increase of 22.5 percent on a year-over-year basis and 4.7 percent year-over-year in the in-natura and processed segments, respectively. In fact, the performance reflects the strategy of offering a portfolio of products more suited to the current reality of consumption in the country, adjusting the trade execution in a market with greater availability of products. In addition, volume was also driven by a larger number of customers, which reached 191,000 points of sale in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018.
The Muslim market-driven unit OneFoods also recorded a good operational performance in the period, with a total net revenue of BRL1.8 billion (US$500 million) in Q1 2018, an increase of 39.6 percent over the same quarter of the previous year. When the acquisition of Banvit, in June 2017, is excluded from the analysis, the net revenue shows a growth of 1.4 percent and a drop of 10.4 percent in volume. The result reflects the best balance of supply and demand and a local effort for the recovery of margin.
The highlight in the international division, which includes the operations of Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa, was the expansion of the adjusted EBITDA margin, with a growth of 8 percent. In this period, the net revenue totaled BRL1.08 billion (US$300 million), compared to BRL943 million (US264.3 million) recorded in the previous year -- a high of 12.9 percent.
Southern Cone results
Net revenue in the Southern Cone -- Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay -- increased by 12.4 percent compared to the previous quarter, reaching BRL592 million (US$165.9 million). The index was impacted positively by a growth of 13.2 percent with the sale of in natura turkey in Chile. On the other hand, the higher cost of the raw material for bovine, turkey, swine and poultry put a pressure on the gross margin of 1.1 percent in the region.