Cargill reported net earnings of $409 million in the fiscal 2013 second quarter ended Nov. 30, compared with $100 million in the same period a year ago. In the first six months, earnings totalled $1.38 billion compared with $336 million in the prior year. Second-quarter revenues rose 6%t to $35.2 billion, which brought first-half revenues to $69 billion.
“Cargill posted a solid second quarter, with earnings balanced and diversified across the breadth of the company,” said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. “The steps we’ve taken over the past months to focus attention on what our customers value most, change how we work, instill more cost discipline and invest in growth are paying off in the current year. Most importantly, these changes are key to delivering sustainable growth year in and year out.”
The agriculture services segment also recorded increased earnings, due in part to improved operating results in animal nutrition. Although the business faced rising feed ingredient costs, performance was enhanced by the integration of Provimi, which has brought more nutritional expertise, technology and products to the portfolio since the company was acquired by Cargill late in calendar 2011. The North American farm services businesses benefited from large grain shipments in Canada, but the impact of drought-reduced crops in the Midwest held US results below the year-ago level.
Earnings rose in Cargill’s industrial segment, although deicing salt production volume lagged typical levels due to the inventory carryover from last year’s mild North American winter.
Cargill continues to invest to better serve customers around the world. Following two fiscal years in which capital spending was tilted toward acquisitions, the company’s current capital investments are weighted toward new, expanded and modernised facilities that support the growth objectives of customers and the company.