WH Group, which owns the US-based Smithfield Foods and also has operations in Europe, reported a 34.3%rise in annual profit to $1.4 billion (€1.3 billion), largely thanks to a pretax gain of $414 million (€382.4 million) from the sale of spices company Saratoga Specialty Foods.
Taking out the sale, profit before biological fair value adjustments was flat compared with a 2021 profit of $1.04 billion (€960 million).
Revenue grew 3.1% to $28.14 billion (€26 billion), thanks to significantly higher sales volumes of packaged meats in Europe from newly acquired operations and higher prices in both the US and Europe to offset increasing costs.
In China, sales volumes were hit by COVID-19 prevention measures.
Competition in pork processing is growing in China, however the company said in a presentation, with more hog producers building slaughterhouses to integrate operations.
Growth of the poultry business is key to its diversification, the company said in a statement, adding it processed 240 million chickens, geese and turkeys in Europe and China last year, up 30% from 2021.
The company said it aims to implement 'the best' operating strategy to stay competitive in the market and maximise profitability amid an uncertain economic environment.
It will continue to promote adjustment of product mix, manage prices and control costs.
Other measure will include the expansion of its sales network and increased investments in automated production for better operational efficiency.