SAO PAULO, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Net Operating Revenue (NOR) of BRF grew 14.4% to reach R$8.3 billion in the third quarter of 2015. EBITDA followed the growth trend to reach R$1.52 billion, a 34.8% increase compared to 3Q14. Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) also registered positive results, increasing to 13.9%, from 9.1% in 3Q14.
"BRF's international expansion, which was intensified in the quarter, boosted the Company's results, while maintaining a strong and sustainable pace of growth," said Pedro Faria, the Global CEO. These conditions led to a decrease in the net debt in the period, which stood at 1.24x, compared to 1.40x in 3Q14. BRF's net income increased by 53% to reach R$877 million in the 3Q15. EBITDA margin also grew to 18.4%, from 15.6% in 3Q14.
In Brazil, NOR reached R$3.954 billion, a 3.8% increase compared to 3Q14. This result was driven by growth of 7.8% in revenue from processed products and of 8% in fresh poultry. "We believe that the challenging economic scenario demands efficient initiatives. We are confident of our strategy of establishing a more robust commercial structure, with a regional focus and better execution, combined with the reinforcement of BRF's leadership through a repositioning of our core brands," said Mr. Faria.
Once again, the performance of the international market, especially the Middle East and Africa (MEA), merits special mention. NOR in the region was R$1.9 billion, a 26.2% gain compared to 2014. Volumes decreased, but the scenario benefitted from a 34.8% increase in average prices compared to 3Q14. EBIT margin from the MEA region reached 19.4%, mainly due to the structural changes made in the region.
Furthermore, BRF's strong cash position enabled it to continue its expansion across emerging markets. In October, the agreement signed with Qatar National Import and Export Co. (QNIE) enabled it to acquire the frozen foods distribution business from QNIE for US$140 million. In the same month, BRF acquired from Molinos Rio de la Plata seven brands in franks, hamburger and margarine categories. The transaction amount was approximately US$43.5 million.
In September, BRF announced to the market that it was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability – Emerging Markets Index (DJSI) for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, the three major international credit rating agencies (Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch) raised the corporate rating of BRF this year.