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Cargill earnings plunge 65% in Q1

Published on 13 October, 2009, Last updated at 08:46 GMT

Cargill Inc.’s earnings fell 65 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, including a significant decline in earnings from the company’s majority investment in The Mosaic Co.

Minnetonka, Minn.-based Cargill reported net earnings of $525 million for its most recent quarter, down from $1.49 billion in the comparable period last year.

Earnings from its agriculture-services and food-ingredients segments increased due in part to lower raw-materials costs, reduced operating costs and changes to its product mix, Cargill said. The company’s risk management and financial units also reported significant gains.

However, the company’s industrial segment, which includes its investment in Plymouth, Minn.-based Mosaic (NYSE: MOS), “declined substantially” from a year ago.

Mosaic broke ground March 12 on its 110,000-square foot, four-story Florida headquarters near FishHawk Ranch in Lithia. It is schedule to be completed in spring 2010.

“Cargill posted a solid quarter, notwithstanding the comparison to last year’s all-time record,” Cargill Chairman and CEO Greg Page said in a statement. “Our business unit earnings were broad based, and they were up considerably from the final two quarters of fiscal 2009.”

Cargill also said it opened three new facilities during 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.

Privately held Cargill doesn’t release quarterly revenue figures. In fiscal 2008, which ended May 31, the firm posted revenue of $116.6 billion.


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