Smithfield profits down

US processor Smithfield Foods saw first quarter profits plunge by 50% following its recent acquisition of Sara Lee's European meat business.

The company blamed higher hog production cost, the sale of businesses, and losses on its cattle feeding investment.

SF reported profits of E20.7m for the quarter to July 30 compared to the same period last year. It attributed the bulk of the loss on the E11.1m fallout from the sale of its Quik-to-Fix Food units and E3.2m lost during the pending sale of its Brazilian hog operation.

Smithfield is also shelling out E457.6m for Sara Lee's meat operations and E457.6m in cash and stock for CongAgra branded meats businesses.