October 14, 2008


US company Cargill achieves a 62 percent jump in Q1 earnings



Net earnings at Cargill Inc. increased 62 percent last quarter amid strong worldwide demand for crop fertilisers.


In the first quarter of its fiscal 2009, which ended August 31, Cargill reported net earnings of US$1.49 billion, up from US$917 million in the same period a year ago.


Cargill's industrial segment led Cargill's first-quarter earnings growth. The unit owns about a 65 percent stake in Mosaic and has benefited from that company's strong earnings.


Privately-held Cargill's first quarter earnings were also up significantly in its origination and processing segment which sources process and distributes agricultural commodities and provides supply chain and risk management services.


A decline in earnings in agricultural services was caused by asset sales that took place in last year's first quarter, while the decline in the food segment was partly due to higher raw material and energy costs as well as a temporary shutdown of a corn processing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa due to severe flooding in June.


That plant has been rebuilt and all operations are expected to be fully functional in November.


The company also expanded its operations in the first quarter. It added ethanol production at its Blair, Nebraska corn-processing plant and opened a new frozen beef patty production facility in Fresno, California.

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