October 24, 2008


Bunge profit falls 33 percent in Q3


Bunge Ltd. has reported a 33-percent decline in earnings in the third quarter due to a "volatile time in the global agribusiness and food markets".


Net income reached US$234 million, down from US$351 million a year ago. Net sales, however, surged 52 percent to US$14,797 million from US$9,729 million.


Agribusiness operating profit totalled US$534 million, down slightly from last year's US$538 million. Net sales in agribusiness increased 51 percent to US$10.15 billion.


Operating income of the fertiliser division was US$543 million, up 122 percent on-year. Net sales were US$1,899 million, up 53 percent.


Higher margins were more than offset by US$215 million of foreign exchange losses due to the depreciating Brazilian real against the US dollar.


Milling products operating profit totalled US$48 million on sales of US$514 million, up from US$45 million and US$366 million, respectively, from a year ago. Lower volumes in corn milling, Bunge said, offset higher margins in wheat milling. 


Operating profit for edible oil products grew 6 percent to US$84 million on a 61-percent gain in sales to US$2.23 billion.


Results were severely affected by weaker demand for soy products, slow farmer selling in the US and Brazil due to volatility of commodity and currency prices, harvest delays in the US, as well as reduced sales of fertiliser in Brazil, according to Bunge.


Despite so, Bunge expects to end 2008 with a comfortable liquidity position and maintains its expectations for record full-year results.


In addition, Bunge and Corn Products International Inc. have postponed their special shareholders meetings to vote on their proposed merger.

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