Cargill doubles profits in 4Q; agribusiness giant trying to recapture pace as demand rebounds

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cargill doubles profits in 4Q

MINNEAPOLIS, — Cargill’s fourth-quarter net income more than doubled, the global agribusiness company said Tuesday, as ingredient costs fell and consumer demand began to strengthen. Full-year profits, however, still lagged behind 2009.

Cargill, which processes and ships grain and produces pork and beef, reported final-quarter net earnings of $691 million, up from $327 million last year.

Excluding profits from the majority stake Cargill took in fertilizer maker Mosaic Co., net earnings for the quarter were $433 million, up 87 percent from last year.

Cargill Inc. is not publicly traded, and the Minneapolis company only releases limited financial results each quarter.

The company said fourth quarter revenue jumped 11 percent to $28.1 billion.

For the year, Cargill’s net income fell 22 percent to $2.6 billion, down from $3.33 billion. Excluding the investment in Mosaic, Cargill’s earnings rose 14 percent to $2.07 billion.

Full year revenue was $107.9 billion, down slightly from $115.1 billion last year.

Chief Executive Greg Page said more than half of Cargill’s business units increased their net income during the fiscal year.

The company continues to invest as global demand for food products slowly returns.

Cargill opened 17 new and expanded facilities over the last year, including joint ventures and 15 more major projects are under way, Page said.

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