Cargill sees operating earnings decline 22%

Cargill has reported financial results for the fiscal 2018 third quarter and first nine months ended Feb. 28, 2018. Adjusted operating earnings were $559 million, a 22% decrease from last year’s $715 million.

Cargill sees operating earnings decline 22%

Cargill has reported financial results for the fiscal 2018 third quarter and first nine months ended Feb. 28, 2018. Adjusted operating earnings were $559 million, a 22% decrease from last year’s $715 million. Nine-month earnings totaled $2.4 billion, down 7% from $2.58 billion a year ago. These earnings included a net charge of $161 million related to the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Excluding the charge, Cargill’s results were on pace with last year’s third quarter and first nine months.

Net earnings for the quarter were $495 million compared with $650 million a year ago. Nine-month net earnings equaled $2.39 billion compared with last year’s $2.49 billion. Excluding the tax charge, the third quarter was in line with last year; the nine-month figure exceeded the prior period.

Third-quarter revenues rose 2& to $27.85 billion, increasing the year-to-date figure to $84.32 billion.

“Our steady results from operations demonstrate that our strategic direction is the right one,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The performance of our team worldwide keeps Cargill moving ahead, preparing us to continue to grow.”

Earnings in Food Ingredients & Applications decreased on mixed performance, with the segment the second-largest contributor to company earnings. Cocoa, chocolate and edible oils posted performance gains. Lower ethanol prices in North America and higher manufacturing costs in Europe tempered results in global sweeteners and starches; the third quarter also tends to be seasonally slower for corn sweeteners. Snowy weather boosted salt sales, but results were muted due to higher production costs, lower sales prices for road salt and rising truck freight costs on packaged salt products.

With interest in plant-based foods on the rise, Cargill invested $25 million in a joint venture with Minneapolis-based Puris, the largest North American producer of pea protein. The company mills yellow peas into nutritious, highly functional proteins for use in label-friendly baked goods, cereals, dry blend beverages, snack bars and more. Through the joint venture, Cargill and Puris will expand manufacturing and commercial capabilities to support growth in new markets. Also in food ingredients, Cargill’s salt business opened its first food-grade potassium chloride operation at its salt facility in Watkins Glen, New York. A naturally occurring mineral, potassium chloride enables food manufacturers to lower sodium content in a wide range of food products by up to 50 percent, without sacrificing taste or functionality.

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