Despite an extremely difficult economy in 2009 with net sales down 13%, Land O'Lakes reported a record $209 million in net earnings for the year. Net sales were $10.4 billion, down 14% from 2008's record high of $12 billion.
The $209 million in net earnings is up 31% from last year. Included in that amount, however, was $37 million in unrealized hedging gains versus $52 million in hedging losses last year. Company officials note that unrealized hedging is more an indicator of market conditions than of performance.
LOL's Crop Inputs division was the best performer, which reported $136.8 million in pretax earning. The Dairy Foods division reported $61 million in pretax earnings, and the Feed Division reported $29.8 million in pretax earnings.
The co-op also had a record high amount of cash returned to members of $108 million in 2009.