Global commodities trader and processor Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has reported higher profitability on slightly lower sales from its latest three-month trading period. The company made net earnings of $391 million on revenues of $14.97 billion in the three months ended March 31st 2020, from the $233m and $15.3bn in Q1 2019.

The Ag Services & Oilseeds segment made an operating profit of $422m ($417m in Q1 2019), despite a sharp reverse for ADM’s oilseed crushing operations.

Within that total, Ag Services’ operating profit more than doubled to $164m ($75m in 2019) with the latter period negatively affected by the very wet weather in North America. The latest quarter saw strong destination marketing and structured trade finance performances, with “robust” farmer selling in Brazil leading higher origination volumes and margins year-on-year, despite weaker results in North America.

The Crushing businesses returned an operating profit of $70m ($216m). Although volumes and execution margins were “solid”, they were below those from Q1 2019 when margins were high in line with a short crop in Argentina. The prior year figure was also inflated through some $75m in positive timing impacts.

ADM’s Animal Nutrition segment made an operating profit of $29m after a first quarter 2019 loss of $7m. The improved results included a strong performance from the Neovia business acquired last year, good volumes and margins in feed additives, and solid pet care sales. But the company notes that feed amino acids were affected by a decline in global prices.

“I’m extremely grateful to our 38,000 global colleagues, whose commitment, ingenuity and agility are powering ADM as we support the global food supply chain and provide nutrition around the world,” says ADM chairman and chief executive Juan Luciano. “Our performance is a testament to the resilience of our people, the strength of our business model, and the breadth and depth of our capabilities to fulfil customer needs, even in a market environment that is changing rapidly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There are many unknowns, and ADM isn’t immune from some of the negative effects of this pandemic, but we are confident in the ability of our great team to shift to whatever our customers need, and continue to deliver nutrition around the globe.”