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Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAFM) announced today that it held its annual meeting of stockholders this morning at its home office in Laurel, Mississippi. In the formal business conducted at the meeting, stockholders re-elected five directors to three-year terms expiring at the 2016 annual meeting. Management also reported on the Company’s performance during fiscal 2012. Re-elected to three-year terms were Fred Banks, Jr., Partner, Phelps Dunbar LLP; Toni D. Cooley, President of Systems Electro Coating, LLC; Robert C. Khayat, Retired Chancellor of the University of Mississippi; Diane Mooney, Retired Senior Vice President, Southern Living at Home and Gail Jones Pittman, President, Gail Pittman, Inc.
Other directors, whose terms continue to future years, are: John H. Baker, John Bierbusse, Lampkin Butts, Mike Cockrell, Beverly Wade Hogan, Phil Livingston, Charles W. Ritter, Jr. and Joe F. Sanderson, Jr.
In other action at the annual meeting, stockholders ratified the selection of Ernst & Young LLP as the Company’s independent auditors for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2013. Ernst & Young has served as the independent auditors for Sanderson Farms since the Company went public in 1987.
In his remarks to stockholders concerning the Company’s operations, Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc., said, “Fiscal 2012 marked another challenging year for Sanderson Farms and the poultry industry. While our financial and operating results reflect record production and sales, a significant reduction of outstanding debt, and a return to profitability, the prevailing economic environment and rising feed costs continue to present challenges for our Company and our industry. That said, we are proud of the way our Company responded to the challenges we faced in fiscal 2012.
“Over the past fiscal year, our revenues reached a new record of $2.4 billion, a 20.6 percent increase compared with the previous record set in fiscal 2011 of just under $2.0 billion,” added Sanderson
.“This revenue growth was driven by improved market prices for our poultry products, higher volumes due to our new Kinston, North Carolina, plant reaching near full production, and steady consumer demand for our products at the retail grocery store level. We processed a record 2.9 billion pounds of dressed poultry in fiscal 2012 compared with 2.8 billion pounds during fiscal 2011.”
The Company also announced the selection of a new location for the construction of its next poultry complex. The new big bird deboning complex will consist of a feed mill, hatchery, poultry processing plant and waste water facility, all located in and near Palestine, Texas. This facility will complement the Company’s existing operations located in Bryan and Waco, Texas.