The loss is a significant increase from the first quarter of 2010, when the company reported a loss of $45.5 million. Pilgrim's said it has implemented efforts to reduce costs by $400 million, due in part to a predicted $500-million increase in poultry feed costs for 2011. "We will continue to look at further price increases," said CEO Bill Lovette.
Damage from recent storms in the U.S. Southeast will temporarily reduce chicken production, causing further troubles, said Pilgrim's. Roughly 100 of the company's 16,400 chicken houses were damaged or destroyed, and power was knocked out to two processing plants.