SAO PAULO, July 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the challenging scenario in Brazil, BRF's net operating revenue advanced 7.6% in the second quarter of 2016 (2Q16) compared to the same period of last year and reached R$8.5 billion. Revenue growth was driven by higher average sales prices and sales volume growth.
The higher prices for corn and soy meal affected the company's gross profit, which amounted to R$1.9 billion in the period, 24% lower than in 2Q15. Meanwhile, EBITDA amounted to R$944 million, down 31.6% in the same comparison.
The Brazilian market proved even more challenging in the second quarter of 2016, when the company recorded a contraction in sales in the country. Net operating revenue in the region came to R$3.6 billion, down 5.3% compared to 2Q15. The company sold 495,000 tons of food products in the region in the period.
Meanwhile, the regional unit known as MENA, which includes countries in the Middle East and North Africa, posted substantial growth in its sales of processed items of 56.2% over the same period last year. Meanwhile, net operating revenue in the region was R$1.6 billion, advancing 1.3% in the annual comparison.
Net operating revenue in the Asia regional unit came to R$1.2 billion, growing 40.3% over the same period a year earlier. The growth in the region was mainly supported by higher sales volumes from the full consolidation of GFS operations and from the additional volumes coming from China.
Net operating revenue in the Europe/Eurasia regional unit was just over R$1 billion, representing growth of 21% compared to the 2Q15. The main factors were sales volume growth and the higher average sales price in Brazilian real.
The Latam regional unit, which comprises all countries in the Americas except Brazil, posted solid annual growth in sales of higher-value items, of 25.1% on the second quarter of last year. Net revenue in the region amounted to R$511 million, increasing 11.7% from the same period of 2015.
Net operating revenue in the Africa regional unit amounted to R$199 million, growing 15.3% in the annual comparison. The second quarter of the year effectively marks a new phase for BRF's operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, with its management team now based in the region and dedicated exclusively to the continent.