Jun 25, 2012 (LBT) - Sri Lankans now consider ‘Chicken’ as an essential food item says the country’s pioneer chicken processor, Bairaha Farms PLC. The company’s Chairman Professor. M.T.A. Furkhan says, “It is noteworthy to mention that chicken is considered today as an essential food item as classified by the Government”. Furkhan in his review to the firm’s 2011/2012 annual report says the current annual consumption of chicken in the country is estimated to be approximately 6.5 kg and 54 eggs per person. “Chicken and eggs remains the cheapest source of animal protein in the nation”, Furkhan adds.
Bairaha Chairman also observes that, when the domestic per capita income rises, it has a direct correlation with the demand for chicken in the local market. The chicken meat processor points out that as per the official statistics; the country’s chicken production has marked a year on year growth of 12% to reach 116,760 metric tons during the year 2011. Egg production too has grown by 4% year on year in 2011. According to Furkhan, the growth was largely due to measures implemented to subdue the price hikes in the poultry market.
Bairaha Farms PLC’s turnover during the year ended 31st March 2012 has amounted to Rs. 2.79 billion, up 9.4% from Rs. 2.55 billion recorded during the previous year. However, its net profit before tax has dipped from Rs. 585 million in the previous year to Rs. 487 million during the year under review.Furkhan attributes the reasons for the dip in financial performances to the shortage of raw materials internationally; restriction on maize imports, an increase in international commodity prices and high taxes on imports, which he says led to the high cost of production thus putting pressure on the firm’s financials.