SAO PAULO, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- BRF achieved net operating revenues of R$ 8.59 billion (+1% QOQ) in the fourth quarter of 2016. Gross profit was R$ 1.69 billion (-10.1% QOQ), and the gross margin, 19.7%, 2.4 p.p. below the third quarter of the same year. EBITDA for the period hit R$ 559 million (-36.9% QOQ), while the EBITDA margin was 6.5%, 3.9 p.p. below Q3 2016.
CAPEX for the quarter reached R$ 551 million, while operating cash flow was R$ 748 million, after investments. Adjusted (pro forma) for the impacts of acquired companies, BRF obtained: (i) a financial cycle of 22.4 days, an improvement of 10.4 days vis-à-vis Q3 2016; and (ii) ROIC (Return on Invested Capital) of 8.26%.
2016 was marked by challenges that impacted BRF's short-term results. A combination of sectoral and conjunctural factors, political uncertainties, plus a few internal challenges in terms of execution, led to results falling well short of expectations and far below the company's potential.
While these short-term results leave BRF deeply dissatisfied, at the same time the company is pleased with its structural evolution, with a view to the long-term construction of its business. BRF's global growth process remains on course, with sales volumes on the international markets climbing 16.7% YOY. Even excluding the acquisitions made in the period, the increase would still be 5.9%.
In the Halal world, the acquisitions in Oman, Malaysia, and more recently the announcement in Turkey, were important steps in the materialization of OneFoods. With the new entity already operating, BRF will be better able to assess strategic opportunities to accelerate growth in Muslim markets, as well as a potential capitalization.
In Brazil, investments were made in commercial execution in order to improve service levels, by means of: (i) a new GTM (go-to-market) strategy strongly focused on segmentation; (ii) a new commercial strategy for the cash & carry channel; and (iii) the re-establishment of the company's flow of launches and innovation.
The Supply area had an even more relevant role this year, helping to partly mitigate the impacts of feed costs. The Company focused on new formulas and improved its technical indicators of productivity and feed conversion, with capacity adjustments, mitigating the impact of the negative cycle while maintaining significant production flexibility.