September 3, 2010

BrasilAgro accelerates growth in sowings to 40%



BrasilAgro revealed it was to accelerate the growth in its planting to 40%, taking 2010-11 sowings to 65,000 hectares, even as the Brazilian farm operator revealed it had fallen into a fourth quarter loss.

Most of the expansion will be accounted for by grains-the key earner, including crops such as corn and soy, which between them accounted for about 80% of sowings in 2009-10.

However, the group will also extend its expansion into growing its pasture operations, after beginning a cattle project at its Preferência Farm in eastern Brazil.

Nonetheless, BrasilAgro will be left with substantial land still to develop, with the company's total holding hitting 174,840 hectares, of which all but 3,000 hectares is wholly-owned by the group.

The company revealed its planting plans as it unveiled an after-tax loss of BRL15.1 million for the quarter, compared with earnings of BRL2.0 million a year before.

The slip into the red, further than the BRL6.5 million that analysts had expected, reflected in part growth in personnel costs prompted by the group's expansion.

Revenues fell 7.1% to BRL18.7 million, with the group deciding not to sell its entire 2009-10 crop by the end of June. BrasilAgro noted that soy prices at its Cremaq Farm, also in eastern Brazil, had risen by 30% since the end of harvest.

BrasilAgro shares stood 0.5% lower at BRL9.75 in afternoon trade in Sao Paolo.

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