Moy Park keen to make most of popular poultry

Moy Park is looking to capitalise on consumers’ preference for local produce as it looks to grow its fresh poultry sales in the UK and Ireland.

Detailing its strategy for 2015 at a special event held by parent company Marfrig Global Foods this week, Moy Park’s chief executive Janet McCollum told delegates that poultry is forecast to grow faster than other proteins, at around +3-4%, due to its price point against other meats and its standing as a versatile and healthy protein.

UK consumers’ preference for local produce represents an opportunity to grow domestic sales as around 40% of poultry is imported to the UK, she said, adding that Moy Park was aiming “to continue to grow its fresh poultry business in the UK and Ireland, ahead of the market”.

McCollum said the business had increased its processing capacity, and was on target to achieve slaughter numbers of five million birds per week this quarter.

Approximately 78% of Moy Park’s revenue comes from the UK and Ireland, which it supplies with fresh, ready to eat and coated products, mainly into retail, while 22% comes from continental Europe, which is dominated by sales of convenience products in the foodservice sector.

“Therefore it is clear to see that cross-selling opportunities exist to drive further growth,” said McCollum.

The business is also looking to drive sales growth in Asia and Africa, with an overall target for net sales set at +8.5-10% by 2018.

Other goals include “expanding its multi-protein convenience retail sales, boosting its presence in the foodservice sector and strengthening Marfrig Global’s distribution platform in Europe”.

Subject to market conditions, Marfrig Global Foods also has signalled its intention to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for Moy Park later this year, she confirmed.

The Marfrig Day event on Monday (10 March) followed the publishing of its fourth quarter and full-year results for 2014 last week.

Moy Park increased net revenue by 13% during the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to the Q3, to R$1.5bn (£316m), with revenues for the year up 17% to R$5.5bn (£1.1bn). The increase was positively impacted by currency exchange rates, and strong sales volume increases of fresh poultry and convenience coated products across the retail and foodservice channels in the UK and Ireland.

“This strong performance has been very much underpinned by our continued focus on service, quality and close collaboration with our customers,” said McCollum.

However challenges during 2014 were seen in the form of lower sales prices for poultry products and offals exports due to export restrictions in both Russia and South Africa, as well as lower foodservice volumes in its European business.

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