Cargill earnings rise 34% to $662 million

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill net earnings in the second quarter ended Nov. 30 were $662 million, up 34% from $495 million during the second quarter of fiscal 2006.

Two Cargill businesses — global origination and processing and risk management and financial — led the company’s earnings improvement. The food ingredients and applications business posted a modest increase from a year ago, while agriculture services did not keep pace with last year’s strong performance, Cargill said.

"Cargill delivered outstanding results in the second quarter," said Warren Staley, chairman and chief executive officer. "Similar to the first quarter, we experienced fast-changing markets in the second period, brought about by the interest in biofuels, investor flows into commodity futures and other markets offering diversification, and expansionary economies in many parts of the world. Our team did a good job working across the business and geographic breadth of Cargill to stay on top of the price volatility and bring the best ideas, products and services to those we serve in food, agriculture and risk management."

In the first six months of fiscal 2007, Cargill earnings were $1.16 billion, up 16% from $999 million in the first half a year ago.

Cargill continues to invest in its core businesses. In January, the company announced plans to purchase LNB International Food, a maker of animal nutrition premix products, with manufacturing operations in Poland, Romania and Suriname and sales offices in Holland and Russia.

In addition, the company has begun construction of an animal nutrition facility at its processing complex in Efremov, Russia, where it produces corn sweeteners. Cargill also purchased a soybean crush facility in China and is completing construction of an edible oil refinery at the same site.

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