ADM hones 'clear and compelling strategy' for growth

by Eric Schroeder
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PARIS — A clear and compelling strategy is helping drive shareholder value creation at Archer Daniels Midland Co., said Ray Young, senior vice-president and chief financial officer. Mr. Young spoke June 14 at the Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. Global Consumer Conference in Paris.

In terms of strategy, Mr. Young said ADM has been active across all aspects of its business, including origination and transportation, oilseeds, corn processing, cocoa and wheat.

The company has built on its origination and transportation leadership positions in North and South America, while growing its origination footprint in Canada and Europe and expanding its destination businesses in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

“Over the last five years we have been expanding our global storage capacity on an average of 3% per year,” Mr. Young said. “In the last six months, we announced plans to construct a shuttle train loader elevator in North Dakota. We announced expansions of the barge loading terminal and elevators in Missouri and Illinois. These expansions totaled 1.7 million bus of storage. We began construction of a port terminal at Nueva Palmira in Uruguay. We acquired a grain elevator on the Elbe river in Riesa, Germany, and we announced the expansion of our grain warehouse at the Port of Gdynia in Poland, making it the country’s largest grain storage facility.”

Within oilseeds, ADM has centered its focus on enhancing the value of its existing footprint, increasing plant efficiencies and regional expansion, Mr. Young said.

“In the last six months at our Lloydminster, Alberta, canola processing plant, we are doubling storage capacity,” he said. “We announced the acquisition of a soybean crush plant and biodiesel facility in Deerfield, Mo. We announced plans to begin originating and processing sustainable palm in Brazil, expanding our crop base in that region. We began operations at our fertilizer blending plant in Paraguay, and we acquired the remaining 50% interest in Golden Peanut, the largest U.S. handler, processor and exporter of peanuts.”

Diversification and flexibility have been key in ADM’s strategy within corn processing. Mr. Young said over the past six months the company has begun construction of a sweetener product transfer terminal in Chattanooga, Tenn., and begun production of propylene glycol at its Decatur, Ill., plant.

ADM’s strategies in cocoa and wheat have been geared toward improving utilization and efficiencies. To that end, the company recently expanded its global cocoa operations with the acquisition of a chocolate business in Europe and built a new origination and processing facility in Ghana as well as a new plant in Hazelton, Pa.

While ADM has invested $1.3 billion in seven big projects, including two new corn dry mills in Columbus, Neb., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the company also has approved 130 capital expenditure projects for growth-related initiatives at a total commitment of $863 million. Mr. Young said the projects are expected to increase ADM’s annual operating profit by approximately $264 million by 2015.

“We undertake these smaller projects regularly in our business, which does not get much visibility outside of the company,” he said.
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