1. Two growth trials were performed to measure the effects of dietary methionine and cystine (SAA) on growth rate, food conversion efficiency and breast meat deposition in male broilers. 2. In experiment 1, broilers were grown on 6 experimental diets covering a range from 6.9 to 9.6 g SAA/kg. The diets were fed from 15 to 33 d of age. Similarly, in experiment 2, 6 diets containing 6.0 to 8.5 g SAA/kg were fed to finishing broilers 33 to 43 d of age. In each experiment 60 birds per treatment were processed, and carcase yield and breast meat percentage were determined. 3. Significant responses in weight gain, efficiency of food conversion and breast meat percentage were detected, which could be described well by exponential regression curves. Dietary SAA requirements to obtain maximum efficiency of food utilisation and maximum breast meat deposition were estimated to be about 9.0 g/kg from 15 to 33 d of age, and about 8.0 g/kg from 33 to 43 d of age. 4. Economic aspects were considered to calculate optimum SAA specifications from the results. In both trials, the dietary optimum of SAA was found to be higher for birds to be further processed than for birds to be marketed as whole carcases.