Cargill: reports first-quarter fiscal 2008 earnings

Minneapolis / MN. (cg) Cargill Inc. reports net earnings of 917 million USD for the 2008 first quarter ended August 31, up 83 percent from 500 million USD in the same period a year ago.

«Cargill is off to a strong start in the new fiscal year», said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. «June through August was an extraordinary period, with growing demand for agricultural commodities against tightening supplies and a long anticipated but dramatic reduction in liquidity and leverage in financial markets. All of this sparked a new level of market volatility. Because of our company´s global insight, the connectedness among our businesses and our supply chain and risk management competencies, we were able to put our knowledge and experience to work for the benefit of customers and the company».

First-quarter results were led by Cargill´s origination and processing segment, which sources, processes, markets and distributes agricultural commodities and provides supply chain and risk management services to customers globally. Two segments – food ingredients and applications, and industrial – also outperformed last year´s first-quarter earnings. The agriculture services segment, which serves crop and livestock producers, edged ahead of last year´s results. The risk management and financial segment was moderately below the year-ago level, which reflected smaller contributions from some energy and financial activities.

Cargill began the process of purchasing the remaining shares of Agrograin, a Hungarian grain company in which it bought a minority interest and formed a joint venture in 1995. The acquisition supports the further development of Cargill´s grain and oilseeds origination capacity in central and east Europe.

Cargill announced plans to double the capacity of its canola processing plant in Clavet, Saskatchewan. Because canola oil is trans fat free and low in saturated fat, demand is growing, including for specialty varieties that provide the high stability needed for frying and packaged foods applications. About half of Western Canada’s canola acreage is located in Saskatchewan, which makes Clavet an ideal place to expand. The project is a part of Cargill’s ongoing investments in new and expanded facilities that support the company’s supply chain solutions for customers.

About: With 158.000 employees in 66 countries, Cargill Inc. is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services.