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Premium Brands down on indirect fallout of China’s swine fever outbreak

Specialty foods producer Premium Brands Holdings Corp. says its earnings dropped in the third quarter due to indirect fallout from the African swine fever outbreak in China.

The company says prices for specialty pork products it imports from Europe spiked because China is importing much more pork, while prices for meat products in the U.S. and Canada didn’t rise because China had placed restrictions on imports from the two countries.

Premium Brands says the “unprecedented dichotomy” reduced its margins, resulting in earnings of $26.9 million for the 13 weeks ending Sept. 28, down from $36.1 million a year earlier.

The drop in earnings came even as the company hit record revenue of $968.3 million in the quarter, up from $835.5 million last year, as it continued its expansion into the United States.

Premium Brands runs numerous food brands focused on protein products including Piller’s deli meats, Harvest Meats, Oberto speciality meats.

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