May 2, 2006

 

Diseases cause Tyson Foods to suffer biggest loss in 12 years

 

 

Tyson Foods Inc, the world's largest meat processor, suffered a net loss of US$127 million in the fiscal second-quarter as concerns about mad-cow disease and bird flu chipped away at beef and chicken exports and prices.

 

Sales fell 1.7 percent to US$6.25 billion in the second quarter, the biggest slide since 1994.

 

Tyson's operating loss in its beef operations, which accounted for almost half its sales, ballooned to US$188 million from US$19 million as export markets in Japan and South Korea remained close because of mad-cow disease.

 

Profit (before taxes and interest) from its chicken operations fell 94 percent to US$9 million from US$143 million a year earlier as bird flu concerns affected leg quarter exports and prices.

 

Share prices of the company have fallen 13 percent in the past year.

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