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Jamaica Broilers second US hatchery adds 20,000 to customer base

Published:Wednesday | April 13, 2016 | 4:00 AMSteven Jackson
Senior Vice President of Jamaica Broilers Group, Ian Parsard.

Jamaica Broilers Group's acquisition of its second hatchery in the United States gives it access to new customer base of up to 20,000 consumers.

The poultry producer purchased the hatchery assets of Welp Inc in Iowa at the end of March. The move would also see it transition to a new segment of the egg market, the company said.

Jamaica Broilers did not acquire the operations of Welp, whose business includes other assets, said Senior Vice-President Ian Parsard.

"This is a key strategic acquisition for the US operations - it complements our current customer base and is expected to expand sales to our future customers," said Parsard.

Neither the purchase price of the hatchery nor the value of the asset was disclosed.

Customers include chicken producers in Iowa and surrounding states as well as a "retail customer base of over 20,000", said Parsard.

He said current customers primarily purchase fertile hatching eggs for the broiler industry.

"Future customers are expected to purchase Novogen layer chicks - as in chickens that lay table eggs - and are located primarily in the United States," Parsard said.

Jamaica Broilers reported higher sales of poultry and eggs during its January 2016 third quarter, which resulted in $493 million net profit, up 22 per cent over year-earlier levels.

Earnings from its Jamaica and US operations were up, but other parts of the Caribbean suffered an earnings decline. Group revenues for the quarter amounted to $9.9 billion or 9.3 per cent more than the corresponding period last year.

For the nine months, profits doubled from $615 million to $1.2 billion as sales growth outpaced increases in production costs and operating expenses. Sales for the nine months amounted to $28 billion or 9.3 per cent more year on year. Jamaica accounted for just under $21 billion of the sales; the US market contributed $6.3 billion; and other Caribbean operations $935 million.

The group noted that the US operations performed well with respect to the sale of its main product - fertile eggs for the broiler industry.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com