Australians appear to have rekindled their taste for chicken, possibly due to the prolonged high prices of red meat, as consumers face mounting living expenses. As people increasingly opt for home-cooked meals and cost-cutting measures, they turn to more affordable protein sources and fresh produce.
This shift in consumer behavior bodes well for the country’s leading chicken producer, which recently upgraded its first-half earnings forecast, resulting in an 11% surge in share prices at one point, with a 6% gain just before midday.
In a statement to the ASX, the company announced expectations of achieving a first-half statutory profit of $65 million and statutory earnings of $247 million, a significant increase compared to its full-year profit of $60.4 million in 2022-23.
Inghams (ASX:ING), Australia and New Zealand’s largest poultry producer, attributed the improved earnings to robust demand for poultry as consumers downsize their preferences due to rising living costs. The company is also witnessing favorable developments in wholesale pricing and a recovery in the New Zealand market.
The group noted that the improved operational performance in the latter part of the 2023 financial year has set a positive tone for the new financial year. However, it cautioned that the first half of June might yield lower results due to persistently high costs for feed, labor, energy, and other essential inputs.