Spread of bird flu ruffles Quantum Foods’ feathers
Egg producer Quantum Foods’ share price fell 13% to R2.60 on Monday after it said avian influenza had spread to more of its hen houses in the Western Cape.
Quantum said it had now lost 17% its egg production to the disease, but it could make up for some of this by re-opening dormant facilities.
The group initially warned shareholders on September 20 that the disease had been confirmed at two of its farms, which produced 9% of its eggs.
Quantum said despite depopulating the two original sites, the disease spread to some poultry houses on its remaining two sites of its Lemoenkloof commercial layer farm in the Western Cape, reducing its egg production by a further eight percentage points.
"These two sites have been quarantined and will be depopulated in totality in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the disease," Quantum said in Monday’s statement.
"The company is progressing with the re-introduction of current dormant assets in order to mitigate some of this lost egg production capacity. Some of these facilities will already be populated with layer hens before the end of October 2017."