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Tyson: Chicken outlook remains positive

The Beef, Pork and Prepared Foods units of Tyson Foods are experiencing solid results, while the long-term outlook for the company's chicken business remains positive, Tyson officials report.

"We're now in the last month of our fiscal 2009, and since we reported earnings on August 3, our business has been trending pretty much as predicted," said Leland Tollett, Tyson's interim president and CEO. "The Beef and Pork segments are running efficiently and effectively, and we're generating strong returns. We've been making progress toward improving our chicken operations, and we still have room for improvement there, but I like the way things are shaping up as we move into 2010."

Donnie King, Tyson's group vice president for Refrigerated & Deli, said, "The outlook for chicken industry fundamentals is much improved over the past couple of years, although the economy has affected demand and altered consumer spending. Tyson is uniquely positioned to reach consumers no matter how they're spending their food dollars, because we are in all channels of retail and foodservice."

King highlighted a cross-promotion with Lipton(r) called "Take It to the House," to boost football season sales of non-carbonated beverages and Tyson(r) wings and boneless wyngs(tm) in the hot deli section of 5,000 retail outlets. "This is a great opportunity to brand a foodservice item, increase volume in a high impulse buying category and grow our customers' business," King said, adding that previous promotions similar to this have lifted sales volume of those products in the range of 25% to 200% during the promotion period.

Commenting on Tyson's Prepared Foods segment, King said it is running the best it has since the company acquired it in 2001.

Natalie Berkhout

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