The company has reported adjusted operating earnings of $3.04 billion on revenues of $109.7bn in the year ended May 31st 2017, compared to $1.64bn and $107.2bn in the previous year
At the fourth quarter stage, adjusted operating earnings were $460 million, up from a loss of $19m in Q4 2016, with revenues 4% higher at $28.3 billion.
The Animal Nutrition & Protein segment made the largest contribution to both full year and Q4 profitability. Feed revenues were just above those of the previous year, but grew significantly in the final three months as “favourable trading and cost reductions offset the impact of environmental and market conditions that tempered feed demand in several countries”. But meat sales were “exceptional”, especially in H1, across beef and eggs in North America; fresh chicken in Europe and poultry in China and south-east Asia. The business has recently expanded into South America with the acquisition of a meat packing business in Colombia.
The Origination & Processing crop handling segment reversed last year’s Q4 loss to a profit in the last quarter. It notes that slow farmer selling in South America extended US export opportunities over the last three months, while full year earnings were swelled by record US crops and “brisk demand from global growth in livestock production” despite low volatility in many commodity markets constraining opportunities.
“The past two years have seen significant work to improve performance and position the company for growth,” says David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The structural improvements we’ve made, as well as favourable conditions in some markets, have yielded strong results. Although the environment continuously changes, we feel good about our underlying progress. By building a more integrated, focused and agile Cargill, we are creating the momentum for growth and success for our customers and partners.”