Tyson Foods raised its product prices enough to ensure a huge jump in profits for the most recent quarter, even as sales declined.
Tyson’s profit for the first three months of this year was $829 million, a 74% increase from a year earlier. Sales stood at $13.1 billion, a 14% decline from last year.
Company officials attributed the success to trade customers’ and consumers’ acceptance of price hikes for Tyson products. Those increases averaged 18%, with beef products going up 24%.
Tyson now expects total sales of $52 billion to $54 billion for the full year, up from earlier guidance of $49 billion to $51 billion. Its biggest concerns are inflationary pressures on meat and other inputs, and labor difficulties.
“Although we continue to see inflationary pressures across the supply chain, we are working to drive costs down by continuing to increase our efficiency, productivity, and bringing more capacity on line,” CEO Donnie King said in remarks to investors. As for labor, Tyson is trying to attract workers through increasing pay and expanding programs like child care and continuing education.