JBS Profit and Sales Rise as Currency Drop Boosts Exports

JBS SA, the world’s largest beef producer, said first-quarter profit almost doubled after a weakening Brazilian currency helped it boost exports. The shares jumped.

Net income climbed to 227.9 million reais ($113 million), or 8 centavos a share in the quarter, from 116.1 million reais, or 4 centavos, a year earlier, the Sao Paulo-based company said yesterday. Profit excluding a one-time tax charge was 374.5 million reais, JBS said. The average of five analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for profit excluding some items of 231 million reais.

Sales increased 22 percent to 19.5 billion reais as a 9.6 percent decline of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar in the year through March made its exports more competitive. JBS soared 6 percent to 6.55 reais at 12:37 p.m. in Sao Paulo, heading to the highest close since April 10.

JBS expects profit margins to increase at its beef units in Brazil, Argentina and the U.S., Chief Executive Officer Wesley Batista said on an earnings call today.

The company’s 879.4 million reais of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or Ebitda, missed the 1.05 billion-real average of eight estimates. Net debt was 3.4 times Ebitda, unchanged from the fourth quarter.

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