GREELEY, COLO. – Pilgrim's Pride Corp. reported net sales of $3.83 billion for the third quarter of 2021, a 24% increase from the $3.08 billion reported during the same 13-week period in fiscal year 2020. 

Even with stable sales numbers the lack of workers is still affecting the company.

“Labor shortages continue to be our most pressing issue,” said Fabio Sandri, chief executive officer of Pilgrim’s Pride. “I’m extremely proud of the Pilgrim’s team members who work hard every day to ensure our customers and consumers receive the high-quality foods they expect from us. Staffing challenges, however, have hindered our ability to achieve the ideal product mix with efficient processes. We will continue to make adjustments on a plant-by-plant basis to improve staffing levels and optimize our mix.”

Sandri added that the US business, demand and pricing have been robust which is driven by ongoing high levels of demand at retail and continued recovery in commercial foodservice. 

“Prepared Foods volume was up 7% overall and 16% in the consumer channel as we purposefully grow our Pilgrim’s and Just Bare at retail in response to the continued growth in interest in our brands in that segment,” he said. 

For the third quarter 2021, Pilgrim’s reported net income at $60.8 million up from $33.7 million in 2020. 

Operating income was at $120.8 million, compared to $94.3 million in operating income in 2020. The company, which is majority owned by JBS SA, reported operating income margins of 8.2% in the United States, 11.5% in Mexico and marginally positive in Europe according to the report. 

In Mexico, sales increased in Q3, to $430.3 million compared to $335.2 million during the same time in 2020. 

“In the third quarter in Mexico, our business continued to perform well, and grain pricing began to moderate as we come off of the seasonally strong summer months and head into fall,” Sandri said.

For European business, sales stood $930.4 million compared to $845.7 million in the third quarter of 2020. However, like the rest of the world, the European branch of the company is dealing with supply chain issues particularly in the United Kingdom.

“Moy Park and Pilgrim’s UK both faced shortages of labor and truck drivers as EU workers left the UK following Brexit,” Sandri said. “In addition, rising fuel costs put pressure on both these businesses. Our portfolio in the region was complemented with the introduction of Pilgrim’s Food Masters, and we look forward to partnering with our Key Customers with our portfolio of prepared products and iconic brands.”

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