Bunge net falls 32% in third quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Lower-than-expected performance from its agribusiness, milling products and sugar and bioenergy segments dragged down earnings at Bunge Ltd. in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Net income during the period was $132 million, equal to 89c per share on the common stock, down 32% from $193 million, or $1.36 per share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Third-quarter net sales, meanwhile, rose 34% to $15,616 million from $11,662 million. “The third quarter was a particularly volatile period where managing risk in our agribusiness and sugar and bioenergy segments proved to be challenging,” said Alberto Weisser, chairman and chief executive officer. “Lower-than-planned sugarcane milling volume due to the continued impact of the drought on our sugarcane yields also weighed on results in the quarter.” For Agribusiness, third-quarter EBIT fell 49% to $159 million from $313 million, while sales rose 29% to $10,025 million from $7,783 million. For Milling Products, third-quarter EBIT was $24 million, down 38% from $39 million in the previous year’s third quarter. Lower milling results more than offset improved results in corn milling, Bunge said. Third-quarter sales increased 29% to $525 million from $407 million.

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