Home > Global Industry > Bunge Limited: Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

Bunge Limited: Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

White Plains / NY. (bl) Bunge Limited, a leader in agriculture, food and ingredients, reported its financial results for the quarter ended March 31 (Q1/2019). The Company also announced the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer, effective May 29, 2019. Overview:

  • Q1 GAAP EPS of USD 0.26 versus USD (0.20) in the prior year; USD 0.36 versus USD (0.06) on an adjusted basis
  • Higher Agribusiness results reflect better Oilseeds crush volumes and margins
  • Improved results in Food + Ingredients driven by full quarter of Loders Croklaan ownership and higher margins in Brazil operations
  • Global Competitiveness Program continues to simplify operations and streamline customer service; on track to deliver USD 250 million of total savings a year ahead of schedule
  • New global operating model to accelerate decision-making, increase accountability and allocate capital to highest return opportunities

Greg Heckman, Bunge’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, «Our results for the quarter were generally in-line with our expectations. I am pleased with our team’s ability to execute and with the energy and engagement I’ve seen throughout the company. We continue to focus on operational performance, optimizing the portfolio, and strengthening financial discipline, strategic priorities which will move our organization forward.

To that end, we announced a new global operating model to improve the speed and quality of decision-making,» Heckman continued. «We expect this new model to provide additional clarity and accountability of roles and responsibilities and enhance strategic flexibility as we continue to evaluate the portfolio.»

Financial Highlights

USD in millions, except per share data Q1/2019 Q1/2018
Net income (loss) attributable to Bunge USD 45 USD (21)
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Net income (loss) per common share from continuing operations-diluted USD 0.26 USD (0.20)
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Net income (loss) per common share from continuing operations-diluted, adjusted (a) USD 0.36 USD (0.06)
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Total Segment Ebit (a) USD 151 USD 61
Certain gains + (charges) (b) (15) (24)
Total Segment Ebit, adjusted (a) USD 166 USD 85
Agribusiness (c) USD 120 USD 52
Oilseeds USD 98 USD (34)
Grains USD 22 USD 86
Food + Ingredients (d) USD 68 USD 54
Sugar + Bioenergy USD (23) USD (20)
Fertilizer USD 1 USD (1)
(a) Total Segment earnings before interest and tax (Total Segment Ebit); Total Segment Ebit, adjusted; net income (loss) per common share from continuing operations-diluted, adjusted; adjusted funds from operations and ROIC are non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations to the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures are included in the tables attached to this press release and the accompanying slide presentation posted on Bunge’s website. See Note 11 for a reconciliation of Cash provided by (used for) operating activities to Adjusted funds from operations.
(b) Certain gains + (charges) included in Total Segment Ebit. See Additional Financial Information for detail.
(c) See footnote 10 for a description of the Oilseeds and Grains businesses in Bunge’s Agribusiness segment.
(d) Includes Edible Oil Products and Milling Products segments.

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First Quarter Results

Agribusiness: In Oilseeds, structural soy crush margins were higher in the U.S., Brazil and Europe due to our decision in 2018 to hedge a portion of our first-half 2019 crush capacity. Partially offsetting this improvement, were lower results in Argentina and China. Softseed processing results increased due to higher structural margins in Europe and Canada that more than offset lower results in China. First quarter results in 2018 were impacted by approximately USD 120 million of negative mark-to-market related to forward oilseed crushing contracts. Oilseed trading and distribution results were lower than last year, which benefited from higher volatility.

In Grains, lower margins and volumes due to the combination of farmer retention of soybeans and reduced export demand from China negatively impacted results in origination and trading and distribution. While risk management was a positive contributor to the quarter, results were weaker than last year.

Edible Oil Products: Higher results in the quarter were driven by a full quarter of ownership of Loders Croklaan and an improved margin environment in Brazil, while results in Asia were slightly lower than last year.

Milling: Improved results in Brazil were more than offset by lower margins and volumes in Mexico. Results in the U.S. were similar to last year.

Sugar + Bioenergy: Q1 is the intercrop period and production for the season began toward the end of March. The sugar and ethanol sold during the quarter was inventory from the previous harvest. Sugarcane milling results were slightly below last year primarily driven by lower sugar and ethanol prices, which were largely offset by lower costs.

Fertilizer: Higher results in the quarter were driven by our Argentine operation where lower costs more than offset lower margins.

Global Competitiveness Program

The Global Competitiveness Program (GCP) announced in July 2017 continues to rationalize Bunge’s cost structure and re-engineer how the company operates. Through 2018, Bunge has achieved USD 200 million in cost reductions, with an incremental USD 50 million expected in 2019. This will achieve the full savings target of USD 250 million a year ahead of schedule, reducing addressable SG+A to USD 1.1 billion annually from USD 1.35 billion when the program began.

Cash Flow

Cash used by operations in the three months ended March 31, 2019 was USD 402 million compared to cash used of approximately USD 1.8 billion in the same period last year. The year-over-year variance is primarily due to a decrease in inventory. Trailing four-quarter adjusted funds from operations was approximately USD 1.2 billion as of the quarter ended March 31, 2019.

Income Taxes

Income taxes for the quarter ended March 31, 2019 were USD 38 million.

Outlook

Based on current market conditions, the Company’s view on 2019 full-year consolidated results has not changed from its previously disclosed outlook, provided on February 21, 2019.

In Agribusiness, based on the current soy crush margin environment, 2019 full-year results would be expected to be lower than 2018. Actual soy crush margins over the course of the year are likely to evolve based on U.S.-China trade discussions, crop sizes and farmer commercialization. Based on the current softseed crush margin environment, results would be slightly higher than last year, driven by strong oil demand. Improvements in risk management and in how we operate should support higher results in Grains compared with last year.

In Food + Ingredients, full-year results in Edible Oils should benefit from 12 months of ownership of Loders Croklaan, as well as increased synergies from the integration of our B2B businesses. Favorable Milling operating environments in Brazil and the U.S. are likely to be partially offset by more challenging conditions in Mexico.

In Sugar + Bioenergy, based on normal weather and forward price curves for sugar and ethanol, full-year 2019 results would be expected to be about break-even. As in past years, results will be seasonally weighted to the second half of the year.

In Fertilizer, based on the current market environment, full-year results would be lower than last year.

The Global Competitiveness Program is expected to generate approximately USD 50 million of incremental year-over-year savings. The Company expects additional savings from industrial and supply chain initiatives, which are expected to offset inflation.

Additionally, the Company expects the following for 2019: A tax rate in the range of 22 percent to 26 percent; net interest expense in the range of USD 290 to USD 310 million; capital expenditures of approximately USD 550 million, of which approximately USD 115 million is related to sugarcane milling; and depreciation, depletion and amortization of approximately USD 650 million.

Chief Financial Officer Appointment

Separately, Bunge also announces that it has appointed John W. Neppl as Chief Financial Officer, effective May 29, 2019. He will succeed Thomas M. Boehlert who has served as Chief Financial Officer since 2017 and will remain for a transition period.

Commenting on the CFO appointment, Heckman said, «I have previously worked with John in operating agricultural processing, distribution, trading, food and food ingredients businesses. His decades of experience and his successful track record of driving organizational strategy will enable him to make a significant contribution to Bunge’s future, and to build on the world-class financial team assembled under Thom’s leadership.»

Heckman added, «Thom has been a great contributor to Bunge, including his spearheading of our successful Global Competitiveness Program. I also want to express my personal gratitude to Thom for his key role in supporting Board Chair Kathi Hyle and me in our new roles over the past several months.»

Neppl joins Bunge from Green Plains Inc., where he served as Chief Financial Officer. Green Plains is a diversified commodity processing business with operations related to ethanol production, grain handling and storage, cattle feeding, and commodity marketing and logistics services. Prior to Green Plains, Neppl was CFO of Gavilon Group and previously held senior financial roles at ConAgra Foods.