Premium Brands down on indirect fallout of China's swine fever outbreak

VANCOUVER — Specialty foods producer Premium Brands Holdings Corp. says its earnings dropped in the third quarter due to indirect fallout from the African swine fever outbreak in China.

The company says prices for specialty pork products it imports from Europe spiked because China is importing much more pork, while prices for meat products in the U.S. and Canada didn’t rise because China had placed restrictions on imports from the two countries.

Premium Brands says the “unprecedented dichotomy” reduced its margins, resulting in earnings of $26.9 million or 72 cents per share for the 13 weeks ending Sept. 28, down from $36.1 million or $1.09 per share a year earlier.

The drop in earnings came even as the company hit record revenue of $968.3 million in the quarter, up from $835.5 million last year, as it continued its expansion into the United States.

On an adjusted basis, earnings were 88 cents per share, compared with $1.04 per share last year. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.16, and revenue of $953.6 million, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Premium Brands runs numerous food brands focused on protein products including Piller’s deli meats, Harvest Meats, Oberto speciality meats.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2019.

Companies in this story: (TSX:PBH)

The Canadian Press