The country's leading poultry processors are seeing their investment in upgraded facilities paying off in increased sales and some have also raised prices.
The biggest companies operating in the Romanian poultry processing sector, Transavia, Agricola Bacau, Agroli Group and Ave Impex reported in the first five months of 2009 rises in sales of over 30 per cent as against the same period of 2008, given the investments made in the aforementioned companies one year ago but also due to the consumers' reorientation to cheaper food products, according to Ziarul Financiar.
According to figures of the Romanian Association of Poultry Breeders, the deliveries of chicken for meat in the first four months of 2009 exceeded 110,000 tonnes, namely over €250 million, up 26 per cent as against the same period of 2008.
Poultry meat is among the few segments of the food industry that have reported rises in the first half of the year, considering that the cold cuts producers had announced a stagnation in sales in terms of volume in Q1 and the dairy market saw a shrinkage of 20 per cent of sales in the same period of 2009.
"The volume of the sales of the Transavia group reports a rise of 20 per cent in the first five months of the year, confirming our estimates which aim an output of over 50,000 tonnes of poultry in 2009," said Ioan Popa, general manager of Transavia, the biggest national chicken producer.
"Mainly, the rise occurred because of the rise in the production of Avicola Brasov (centre) the production facilities being integrated in an investment project for modernisation worth over €10 million," Mr Popa said.
Transavia group (Alba Iulia, centre) reported a turnover worth €95 million after the takeover of Avicola Brasov, having almost 1,3000 employees.
Agricola Bacau (east) – the main competitor of Transavia – reported in the first five months of 2009 a major rise in sale as against the same period of 2008.
The activity of the chicken slaughter house held by the Bacau-based producer was however, halted over January-April 2008, therefore the growth percentage cannot compare with other producers according to Ziarul Financiar.
Owner of poultry meat processor Avicola Crevedia (south), Mr Agroli, reported an increase in sales of more than 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, which he attributed to the investments and the group's expansion strategy.
A much bigger rise – of 56 per cent in the production of poultry – was reported by Ave Impex over the period January to May 2009, compared to the same period of 2008.
Over the same period, the company reported sales of 5,571 tonnes of poultry meat as against 3,563 tonnes over the same period one year ago, said Gheorghe Bodea, general manager of Ave Impex of Satu Mare (north-west), one of Romania’s first six poultry producers with businesses worth €24 million at the end of 2008.
The results of Ave Impex were supported by the €10 million investments made by the producer in 2008 to upgrade and raise in the production capacity of farms, as well as in the modernisation of poultry slaughterhouse.
According to the representative of Transavia, the financial crisis played an important role for obtaining the growth rate because consumers are choosing cheaper food products, including in the meat sector.
The rise in sales has allowed poultry producers to increase prices, which had been impossible one year ago, when some producers were selling below the production cost.
In the first half of this year, Agricola International Bacau increased the prices in the segment of poultry meat by an average of 11 per cent, according to the company’s president, Grigore Horoi.
The Ziarul Financiar article concludes that Agroli Group did not impose a price rise over this period, and Transavia raise dits prices by between two and five per cent across its product range.
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