Land O'Lakes income down 63% during quarter

by Staff
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ARDEN HILLS, MINN — Citing the challenging economy and soft commodity markets, earnings for Land O’Lakes, Inc. were down 63% during the first quarter. A $25 million charge related to a lawsuit also impacted earnings.

During the quarter earnings were $30.9 million, which compared with $82.7 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The dairy foods business led sales during the first quarter, and overall company net sales were $3.07 billion, up about 4% from $2.95 billion during the same period of the previous year.

“The company’s first-quarter performance reflects the impact of a still-challenging economy and volatile commodity markets,” said Chris Policinski, president and chief executive officer. “This was particularly evident in our Food and Industrial (processing) Foods businesses, which are being affected by continued financial stress in many segments of agriculture. But even with these challenges, the fact that more than half of our business portfolio achieved higher sales is a strong confirmation of the value of our brands and the loyalty of our customers and consumers. Our progress in reducing debt and strengthening the company’s financial standing also reflects our commitment to position Land O’Lakes for profitable growth in the future.”

The Dairy Foods segment sustained a loss of $3.6 million during the quarter, which compared with a loss of $17.9 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales in the segment were $857 million, up 14% from $753 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

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