Pig specialist back in black

21 September 2001

Pig specialist back in black

PIG breeding specialist PIC International has reported its first profit since it spun off from Dalgety in 1998.

Before tax and exceptionals, the company made a profit of £9.3m in the year ending June 20, 2001, compared with a loss of £2.4m the previous year.

Chairman Brian Baldock said strategic restructuring was paying off despite challenging market conditions caused by foot-and-mouth disease.

The companys Americas business saw operating profit grow by 42% to £24m. Asian interests just about broke even, compared with a loss of £600,000 in 1999. In Europe, the company continued to lose money, though operating losses fell by 57% to £4.2m, despite an estimated £2m impact due to F&M.

PICs net assets rose from £6.4m to £33.5m during the year, largely due to the settling of a long-standing tax wrangle concerning former Dalgety business.

New products using biotechnology, such as DNA markers, will help drive sales, said Mr Baldock. As a result, the board has proposed to change the company name to Sygen International, though it will retain PIC as a marketing brand.

Mr Baldock said the newly branded company had a good future. "Pork remains the worlds most popular meat and global pork consumption continued to grow during the year.

"We have seen a further recovery in pig prices throughout the world. Major retailers, processors and producers continue to consolidate. This changing trading environment presents us with many opportunities."

Share prices rose 6p to 34p, ending a two-month decline. &#42

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