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Cargill Reports 86 per cent Rise in Earnings

by 5m Editor
15 April 2008, at 9:29am

MINNEAPOLIS – US agrifood, animal feed and meat processing company Cargill has net earnings of $1.03 billion in the third quarter of the 2008 financial year, up 86 percent from $553 million in the same period a year ago.

Earnings in the first nine months totaled $2.9 billion, a 69 percent increase from $1.71 billion a year ago.

"Cargill posted a third consecutive strong quarter in a year in which the dimensions of change in global agriculture are striking," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer.

"Demand for food in developing economies and for energy worldwide is boosting demand for agricultural goods, at the same time that investment monies have streamed into commodity markets. Relative to demand, world grain stocks today are at their lowest levels in 35 years.

"Prices are setting new highs and markets are extraordinarily volatile. In this environment, Cargill’s team has done an exceptional job measuring and assessing price risk, and managing the large volume of grains, oilseeds and other commodities moving through our supply chains for customers globally."

Mr Page said Cargill’s global assets, market insight, diversification and risk management skills have served the company well.

"Our business model gives us the wherewithal to remain customer focused in a very challenging operating environment."

Four of Cargill’s five business segments increased earnings from the third quarter a year ago.

The largest earnings contribution came from the origination and processing segment, which sources, processes and distributes agricultural commodities and provides supply chain and risk management services to customers globally.

The industrial segment, which benefited from global demand for fertilizers, also increased earnings substantially. Cargill's food ingredients and applications segment, a diverse and connected group of more than 40 food ingredient and meat businesses operating in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, exceeded earnings from a year ago.

Results in agriculture services rose mostly on the improved performance of Cargill's global animal nutrition operations. Earnings in the risk management and financial segment were mixed but down overall from the third quarter a year ago.

Adding to its animal protein capabilities, Cargill acquired Freemans of Newent, a UK chicken processing business. The company is being integrated into Cargill's global poultry operations.

5m Editor