SAO PAULO, Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the challenging economic scenario, BRF's net income advanced 46% in 2015, to R$3.1 billion. EBITDA came to R$5.7 billion, which represents significant growth of 21.9% over 2014. Net operating revenue (NOR) amounted to R$31.7 billion, advancing 4.0% on 2014. The company's performance was driven by the expansion in its international operations, an increase in the number of points of sale in Brazil and improvements in the quality of customer service.
In Brazil, sales of higher-value products in 2015 increased 7.4%, to R$12.2 billion. During the year, 1.7 million tons of processed items were sold in the region, representing growth of 4.92% on 2014. The return of the Perdigão brand in relevant categories contributed to this performance.
In 2015, the company strengthened its leadership position in important categories. According to the market researcher, BRF ended the year with market share of 63.9% in the ready-to-eat meals segment, 63.3% in the cold cuts segment, 67.3% in the margarines segment and 41.3% in the sausages segment.
In the Middle East, for example, the second most important market served by BRF in the world, sales exceeded expectations as a result of BRF´s movement forward in its direct production distribution, which helped to minimize volatility in the prices in the region.
In Asia, the most significant improvement in the year was in revenue from higher-value products, which grew 14.4% compared to 2014. In the Europe/Eurasia region, the highlights were the annual growth in revenue from higher-value items, of 12.9%, and from fresh poultry, of 76.7%.
In Latam, the better product mix in Argentina, especially in higher-value items, as well as the higher volumes from new markets, including Mexico, drove results in the region. Sales of processed items, for example, advanced 59.3% on 2014, to R$1.3 billion.
In 4Q15, BRF reported growth in all regions, with NOR of R$9 billion, or 11.3% higher than in 4Q14. NOR growth in the period was led by the Middle East/Africa, Latam and Europe. Growth was driven by improvement in the sales mix and higher average prices in Brazilian real, which offset the lower sales volumes. BRF posted net income of R$1.4 billion in 4Q15, advancing 42.8% on the prior-year period.
In Brazil, sales volumes of commemorative items advanced 5% on 4Q14, driven by the self-service and wholesale channels.