Minneapolis based Cargill reported net earnings of $975 million in the fiscal 2013 first quarter ended Aug. 31 today, compared with $236 million in the same period a year ago. First-quarter revenues were $33.8 billion compared with $34.6 billion year-over for the private company.
"During the past two years, Cargill has invested $8.1 billion to better serve our customers all around the world," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. "By investing steadily, we've been able to significantly boost the breadth and depth of the products and services we offer our customers. And that has strengthened the balance, diversification and resilience we strive for in our business."
Cargill's performance is being attributed to three factors: 1) Results were balanced, with improved earnings across all five business segments. 2) There were no significant losses in any one business unit, the latter a factor that affected the year-ago period. 3) The company benefited from the considerable time and energy invested during the past 12 months to lower costs, simplify and streamline processes, and ensure capital expenditures were being directed to where they mattered most to customers.
"Now more than ever Cargill is using our knowledge and market insight to help customers manage in this time of tighter supplies, higher prices and more volatile markets," said Page. "We are reaching out to customers and tapping the full resources of Cargill to create solutions that address their needs."
Cargill expects lower grain handling volumes year-over and North American exports are anticipated to be lower than pre-drought expectations, potentially making it a challenging year for the company's animal protein businesses globally.
The company purchased a ground beef processing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, that was formerly owned by AFA Foods. The plant is well situated, both to receive raw materials from Cargill's beef production plants in Friona and Plainview, Texas, and to serve existing and prospective customers. Cargill is constructing an animal nutrition facility in South Korea's port of Dangjin. It also announced plans to build a specialty feed facility in Bovina, Texas.