» 2003

Animal Health News & Notes for April 18, 2003 4/18/2003

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for April 18, 2003

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
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COMPANY EARNINGS RELEASES

>   Akzo Nobel reported that first-quarter 2003 sales of its animal healthcare division Intervet declined 8% to 253 million euros ($273 million). The company stated that animal health activities were under pressure from weak key currencies and soft business conditions. (Business Wire)

> Novartis reported that Animal Health sales were $157 million, up 5% (0% in local currencies) from the previous year's first quarter. Operating income decreased 8% to $23 million, leading to an operating margin of 14.6%. Investments in Research & Development were higher than in the previous first quarter, owing to the timing of large studies for development projects. (company website)

>  Colgate-Palmolive reported that Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s first quarter unit volume grew 7.0%, dollar sales increased 14.5% and dollar operating profit grew 34%. New product activity and veterinary endorsements continue to fuel growth. Continued improvements in supply chain efficiencies generated savings that funded increased commercial investment for the quarter. Excluding foreign exchange, sales increased 9.0% and operating profit grew 23%. (company press release)

>  Alcide Corporation released financial results for its fiscal third quarter and nine-month periods ended February 28, 2003. For the quarter, Alcide earned $280,000 on revenues of $5.5 million. In the third quarter a year ago, Alcide earned $540,000 on revenues of $5.5 million.  In the first nine months of the fiscal year, Alcide generated net income of $776,000 on revenues of $16.3 million compared to $1.3 million on revenues of $16.6 million in the like period a year earlier. (Business Wire)

>  Pilgrim's Pride reported a net income of $10.8 million for the second fiscal quarter ended March 29, 2003, a $9.5 million increase compared to net income in the prior year's second fiscal quarter. Pilgrim's Pride also reported net sales for the quarter of $630.6 million, a $29.8 million increase compared to the $600.8 million for the same period last year. (Meating Place)

>  Cargill Inc. reported a 60% increase in quarterly earnings, an increase boosted mainly by proceeds from litigation settlements and supported by solid showings in non-meat related products.  The performance of its food, meat and agricultural businesses slowed because of seasonal changes in supply and demand. Cargill's sales of cocoa, cotton and juice products performed better than expected, and the company ended its third fiscal quarter on Feb. 28 with earnings of $241 million versus $151 million one year ago. For the first nine months of fiscal 2003, Cargill profits rose to $891 million from $670 million a year ago. (Meating Place)

>  Farmland Industries announced earnings of $29 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2003 ended Feb. 28, a substantial improvement over a loss of $49.7 million in the same period a year ago. Sales were $1.6 billion, a 5% increase over the second quarter of fiscal 2002. Six-month  income, before a $424.5 million charge taken during the first quarter to recognize impairment of certain crop production and petroleum assets, was $36.3 million, compared with a loss of $46.5 million during the same period last year. (Meating Place)

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BRAKKE CONSULTING EXECUTIVE RECRUITING SERVICES

Since 1986, Brakke Consulting, Inc. has successfully assisted many clients in finding and employing exceptional employees at all levels, in the many departments of animal health, pet, veterinary and specialty chemical companies.   In the past three years alone, we have filled over 75 positions in the markets we serve. We have a unique consulting and search agreement program that we feel fits the industries we serve more appropriately than the standard retainer search. With Brakke Consulting’s insights and experience in the markets you serve, we can pre-qualify candidates, permitting clients to choose from a few of the best applicants instead of interviewing dozens of candidates.  Our approach increases the efficiency and effectiveness of our clients’ Human Resources Departments.  For more information on our Search process and the positions we have filled recently please contact any of our offices or www.BrakkeConsulting.com

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COMPANY NEWS RELEASES

>  Pfizer Inc. announced the completion of its nearly $57 billion acquisition of Pharmacia Corp. The deal, announced last summer and cleared by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this week, cements Pfizer's position as the world's largest drug company. The new combined company has $46 billion in revenues and controls 11% of the world's pharmaceutical market. The combined animal health divisions have $1.6 billion in revenues.  (AP)

>  Chr. Hansen Biosystems announced that its name has been changed to Chr. Hansen Animal Health & Nutrition.  The name change is one of a number of strategic moves the company is making to build a stronger brand presence worldwide.  (Feedstuffs)

>  Alpharma announced that it intends to offer up to $220 million of Senior Notes in a private placement.  The proceeds of the offering will be used to repay existing subordinated notes and to pay related fees and expenses. (company press release)

>  Virbac Corp. introduced C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Chews with Chlorhexidine for dogs.  The antimicrobial power of chlorhexidine helps control bacteria and prevents the accumulation of plaque and tartar.  (Veterinary Economics)

>  Smithfield Foods is planning to merge two of its pork-production businesses, Smithfield Packing and Gwaltney, creating a separate food-service business. The new business is expected to have annual sales of $2.5 billion. The merger will take place during the next 90 days and is aimed at holding down expenses as Smithfield tries to streamline operations in a competitive market. (Pork Alert)

>  Two Morgan&Myers clients were recognized by the National AgriMarketing Association for campaigns that were judged "Best of Show" in both the advertising and public relations categories.  No firm has ever won "Best of Show" in both categories.  A new product launch for Pharmacia Animal Health won "Best of Show" in Advertising, beating out all of the other winners in 43 categories. The Altria Shared Solutions agricultural relations campaign received "Best of Show" among stiff competition in 19 different Public Relations categories. (company communication)

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ANIMAL AGRICULTURE ALLIANCE STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT  MAY 12-14, 2003

There is still time to register for the second industry-wide Stakeholders Summit, sponsored by the Animal Agriculture Alliance.  This two-day conference, “Challenges to the U.S. Animal Protein Businesses: Domestic and International Responses, Risks and Repositioning,” will be held May 12–14, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.  In cooperation with Rabobank International and Brakke Consulting, Inc., the Summit is targeted at senior management of all companies involved from “farm to fork.” 

For registration prior to April 19th, the cost for attendance is $375 per person, or $350 per person for more than one attendee from the same organization.  After April 19th, the cost is $425 and $400 respectively.  Registration for the Summit can be made securely via the Alliance website at www.AnimalAgAlliance.org.

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ANIMAL HEALTH NEWS

>  US  The USDA has trained hundreds of veterinarians to diagnose animal diseases that are found in other parts of the world but are rare or unknown in the US, diseases that may be used by terrorists to devastate the livestock and poultry industries. The vets are considered key to government surveillance systems being built to detect unusual patterns of animal disease that could signal an outbreak, whether naturally occurring or intentional.  The vets are being asked to watch for diseases that can be passed from animals to humans, such as anthrax, plague and tularemia, as well as those that could be used by terrorists, including swine fever, avian flu and foot-and-mouth disease. (AP)

>  BELGIUM   Belgium has placed a ban on the transport of all live poultry and eggs after the discovery of a suspected case of avian influenza. Belgian authorities concluded that there was a "serious suspicion" that the illness had spread into the country, after the possible case was reported in northeastern Belgium, near the Dutch border.  (Meating Place)

>  NETHERLANDS    The avian influenza ravaging the Dutch poultry industry has apparently been passed on to pigs, giving rise to fears it could merge with the human flu virus pigs already carry to create a new deadly pathogen. Pigs at five farms were discovered to be carrying avian influenza antibodies. The pigs have not yet actually fallen ill to the virus, but they are considered a potential spreading source. Transportation of pigs in the Gelderland Valley has temporarily banned, pending the results of scientific research into the risks. Officials also want to identify the extent to which pigs are infecting each other with the bird flu and possibly poultry farms. (AnimalNet – Expatica.com)

>  US   The prevalence of salmonella in raw meat and poultry continues to decline, even as the number of samples taken by Food Safety and Inspection Service officials increased more than 25% last year.  The percentage of samples testing positive for salmonella across all categories dropped from 5% to 4.3%. FSIS collects and analyzes salmonella samples in seven categories: broilers; market hogs; cows and bulls; steers and heifers; ground beef; ground chicken; and ground turkey. (Meating Place)

>  US   The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) executive board approved a $100,000 grant to help the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) expand its benchmarking program for veterinary practices.  The grant will be used to raise awareness of the program through advertising, direct marketing and presentations, as well as to complete the set of benchmarking tools for equine practices.  (AAHA Trends Magazine)

>  US   Illinois has joined at least two other states – Tennessee and Maryland – by enacting legislation that allows owners of companion animals, under certain circumstances, to recover emotional distress damages for the loss of or injury to their companion.  The act defines a companion animal as a pet and does not limit it to dogs, cats and horses.  (AVLA Newsletter)

>  US   A researcher at the University of California-San Francisco has developed a test that can determine if sheep have been infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.  Science magazine reported that the government would use the test initially to detect for BSE in sheep. The test’s developer claimed his test is 100% accurate and can identify animals with BSE long before they exhibit the first symptoms. The test could also be used to ensure that cattle entering the food chain are BSE-free. The commercial testing will be performed by InPro Biotechnology, a company created by the test’s developer, and LGC, formerly the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, based in England. (Meating Place)

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BRAKKE CONSULTING VIEWPOINT

This past week on April 15th, Brakke Consulting celebrated 17 years of providing consulting services to the markets we serve.  Wow!  How things have changed in 17 years.   It’s been a lot of fun participating and observing the many changes that have occurred in our industry.

We want to take this opportunity to thank our clients, consultants, employees and friends for your involvement and support.  It’s been a great time and we look forward to the next 17 years.

Ron Brakke

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