SAO PAULO, May 10 (Reuters) - Brazilian meat processor BRF SA reduced its net loss in the first quarter of 2020 to 38 million reais ($6.63 million), compared to a loss of 1 billion reais in the same period last year, thanks to a rise in sales volumes and value.
In a securities filing on Sunday, the company said it has increased net revenue by 21% to almost 9 billion reais, and volumes of food sold by 8%, to 1.1 million tonnes.
BRF will discuss its results with analysts and investors on Monday.
Adjusted EBITDA, a measure of operating income, grew by almost 68% in the quarter to 1.251 billion reais and total cash generation increased by almost 1,000% to 2.774 billion reais.
The Halal market remained important, representing about 25% of the total volume sold by the company in the quarter, or 277,000 tonnes.
Volumes sold in the Halal market, where food must be prepared according to Muslim dietary standards, also correspond to about half of the 562,000 tonnes that the company sold in Brazil in the first quarter of the year.
BRF said the global COVID-19 pandemic has sparked the need to seek retail channels to offset a drop in sales to restaurants.
While trying to understand trends in consumer habits and the supply chain impacted by COVID-19, BRF is looking for potential acquisitions in business, technology or processes due to the economic and liquidity impact caused by the pandemic.
BRF announced the acquisition of the remaining 25% of a food company in Saudi Arabia, where it also plans to invest $120 million to build a chicken processing plant.
On Friday, BRF announced it had bought 100% of Joody Al Sharqiya Food Production Factory, a Saudi food processing company, for about $8 million. ($1 = 5.7319 reais) (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)