Cargill reports drop in fiscal 2014 earnings
Cargill has reported net earnings of $424 million in the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended May 31, down 12% from $483 million in the year-ago period. Fourth-quarter revenues, however, rose 2% to $36.2 billion.
For the full fiscal year Cargill earned $1.87 billion, a 19% decrease from $2.31 billion in the prior year. Revenues declined 1% to $134.9 billion.
"Though we look back on a year in which overall earnings fell short of expectations, we realized stronger operating results in several businesses including a turnaround in our global beef operations. We also made good progress on moves designed to sharpen efficiency and support profitable growth in fiscal 2015 and beyond," said David MacLennan, Cargill's president and chief executive officer.
Among Cargill's four segments, earnings rose significantly in Animal Nutrition & Protein in the fourth quarter and full year. Results in animal nutrition were up for the full year, reflecting the positive impact of recent years' acquisitions and a product and service mix that met the diverse needs of customers. Fourth-quarter earnings were below the year-ago level due to a loss resulting from adjustments to the balance sheet to account for Venezuela's effective currency exchange rates.
Performance in animal protein was led by the beef business, which was boosted by increased operating efficiency, good cattle feeding results in North America and brisk exports of Australian beef. US pork operations rose on improved live production and processing efficiency, and steady demand. Poultry operations in Central America, Europe and Thailand posted higher earnings in both periods on a combined basis.
Cargill continues to invest in acquisitions, and new and expanded facilities that connect markets and support customers' growth in emerging and developed markets. "Cargill has a record $3.3 billion of major food and agricultural facilities under construction today in 13 countries," said MacLennan. "As these facilities come on line, they enhance Cargill's delivery of value-creating solutions to our food, agricultural and other customers."
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