By Charles Herrington| February 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM CST - Updated June 26 at 2:58 PM
LAUREL, MS (WDAM)
2011 was a record-setting year for Laurel's Sanderson Farms, Inc. in both sales and losses.
While the company reported record sales of nearly $1.98 billion for the fiscal year which ended on Oct. 31, it also reported record losses of $135 million for the same period.
At an annual stockholders meeting at the company's headquarters Thursday morning, company CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors Joe F. Sanderson, Jr. said an increase in grain prices of about $335 million contributed to those record losses.
He said however, he's upbeat about the company for fiscal year 2012 for a couple of important reasons.
"While we will still have high grain prices, we believe that the poultry markets will be higher," said Sanderson. "Our debt/capitalization on October 31 was 36 percent. We had plenty of credit left on our bank revolver and we're optimistic about the future," he said.
Sanderson Farms is the nation's 4th largest poultry producer.