UPDATE 1-Brazil's BRF posts lower-than-expected Q3 profit
(Adds EBITDA, exports, costs, comments from executives)
SAO PAULO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Brazil's BRF SA, the world's largest chicken exporter, posted lower-than-expected net profit for the third quarter due to constrained domestic demand and weak exports to some regions.
BRF's profit was 287 million reais ($131 million), below the analysts' expectations of 391 million reais in a Reuters poll. The latest result was well above the 91 million reais posted in the year-earlier period, when high feed costs sapped the profits of most meat producers.
The company, which also makes processed foods, said exports were affected by an unexpected surplus of meat in the Middle East, usually a key importer from Brazil. Also, heavy rains in September prevented some goods from leaving Brazilian ports.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a widely followed indicator of a company's cash flow, rose 58 percent from a year ago to 754 million reais. The result fell short of analysts' average estimate of 980 million reais.
Despite lower grains prices, the cost of sales was in line with the year-ago period and rose slightly from the second quarter to 5.7 billion reais. Some costs, like freight, packaging and vitamins, were made more expensive by a stronger dollar and weaker real, BRF said in a filing.
The company expects domestic demand to increase in the coming months as higher interest rates curb the inflation that has choked consumption for much of the year, according to a letter from Chairman Abilio Diniz and Chief Executive Claudio Galeazzi, who was appointed on Aug. 14. ($1 = 2.187 reais)
(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer and Fabiola Gomes; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Jeffrey Benkoe)