Russian meat firm Cherkizovo said on Tuesday it expected a rise in total production in 2010 and a "significantly higher" output of its poultry in 2011 as a result of upgrades and a favourable market.
"The group expects the pricing environment for our products to remain positive driven by a decrease in imports and growing domestic demand," Cherkizovo Chief Executive Officer Sergei Mikhailov said in a statement.
"The management is confident that the group will continue to focus on providing efficiency increases and delivering against our strategy."
Cherkizovo said it continued investing in production growth last year, concentrating on large-scale projects in the poultry division with the aim of increasing capacity. It also invested in its pork division, set to reach full capacity in 2010.
It said its poultry meat sales in 2009 declined by just 2 percent to 184,300 tonnes, while the pork segment sales increased by a hefty 38 percent to 53,000 tonnes.
Processed meat sales, however, fell 10 percent to 130,000 tonnes due to lower consumption due to the crisis.
Russia aims to become self-sufficient in pork and poultry meat, Cherkizovo's main products, in the next few years and for this purpose has cut import tariff quotas for 2010-2012. [ID:nLDE5BK0BA]
Russia has also effectively halted poultry imports from top supplier the United States when it banned meat treated with chlorine from Jan. 19 [ID:nLDE60K1AZ] and curtailed U.S. pork imports citing the presence of an antibiotic. [ID:n10144925]
Cherkizovo sold its products at stable or higher prices in rouble terms in 2009, although depreciation of the Russian currency led to a decline in dollar prices.
"The management of the group is satisfied with the company's overall performance and anticipates that the group will report strong 2009 results, reflecting the impact of favourable rouble pricing, and continued sales momentum for our products," Mikhailov said.