MINNEAPOLIS - Cargill today reported net earnings of $525 million in the fiscal 2010 first quarter ended Aug. 31, down 65 percent from last year's record $1.49 billion in the same period a year ago. The reduction included a sizable decline in earnings from Cargill's majority investment in The Mosaic Company.
"Cargill posted a solid quarter, notwithstanding the comparison to last year's all-time record," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. "Our business unit earnings were broad based, and they were up considerably from the final two quarters of fiscal 2009. We've stayed focused on delivering solutions to customers, which drives the continuing investment in our people, facilities, technologies and innovation. All of this makes us optimistic about Cargill's ability to grow and to help our customers succeed in this still-fragile world economy."
Among Cargill's five business segments, earnings in agriculture services and in food ingredients and applications were up from last year's first quarter, due in part to lower raw material costs, reduced operating costs and changes to product mix. Risk management and financial results rose significantly, reflecting a return to profitability by its financial investment subsidiaries and good performance among the energy businesses. Origination and processing earnings were solid, though down from last year's record performance. Earnings in the industrial segment, which includes Cargill's majority investment in The Mosaic Company, declined substantially from the year-ago level.
Cargill announced the opening of three new facilities in the first quarter: a glycerin refinery next to its biodiesel plant in Frankfurt, Germany; a feed mill that processes co-products from adjacent Cargill facilities in Efremov, Russia; and a specialty canola research and production center in Aberdeen, Saskatchewan. The center complements the recent doubling of processing capacity at Cargill's canola crush plant in Clavet, Saskatchewan, and the upgrade of its canola seed facility in Idaho Falls, Idaho.