(Adds details on quarter, EBITDA)
SAO PAULO, April 29 (Reuters) - Brazil’s BRF SA, the world’s largest chicken exporter, posted a lower-than-expected net profit on Tuesday, hit by the one-time costs of implementing a new business plan.
BRF’s first-quarter profit was 315.5 million reais ($135.9 million), below the average estimate of 332.4 million reais in a Reuters poll of analysts and down from the 359 million reais a year earlier.
In a statement, BRF said its profit had declined from a year ago because of non-recurring operating expenses. The company said it expects the current reorganization to increase operating income by 1.9 billion reais by 2016.
Analysts expect BRF’s results to be volatile this year as it changes focus and reshuffles management under Chairman Abilio Diniz and Chief Executive Claudio Galeazzi, who are committed to making the company an international brand.
The company intends to focus less on chicken exports and more on processed food products with greater value added. It plans to inaugurate a plant in Abu Dhabi this year, its first outside of Brazil.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a widely followed indicator of a company’s cash flow, rose 7.1 percent from a year ago to 861 million reais, beating an average estimate of 835 million reais.
BRF’s shares closed up 2.82 percent at 50 reais in Sao Paulo trading before the results were posted on Tuesday.
$1 = 2.322 reais Reporting by Fabiola Gomes and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Bernard Orr