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SMITHFIELD, Va., Sept. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) today reported fiscal 2014 first quarter results. All comparisons are to the first quarter of fiscal year 2013.
"The key driver of our business continues to be packaged meats where we achieved solid margins, while growing volume, as well as market share and distribution across a number of our core brands and product categories in the first quarter," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer.
Carando brands all grew in the first quarter. Its
Curly's brands performed especially well, up double-digits. Market share increased across the cooked dinner sausage, dry sausage and marinated pork categories. At the same time, the company expanded distribution of its
Eckrich cooked dinner sausage,
Gwaltney hot dogs,
Armour dry sausage,
Armour portable lunches and
Farmland marinated pork.
Mr. Pope continued, "The operating environment in fresh pork and our international business was difficult in the first quarter. Normal seasonal weakness in fresh pork was exacerbated by declines in key export markets, namely Japan, as well as China and Russia. Higher raising costs in our hog production businesses in Eastern Europe and Mexico adversely impacted earnings in our international segment."
Mr. Pope further noted that while these results were disappointing, the company's integrated model helped lessen the adverse impact of weakness in other segments. "Our hog production earnings nearly tripled from last year on higher hog prices," he said.