MINNEAPOLIS – Cargill today reported a record $457 million in earnings from continuing operations for the 2005 first quarter ended Aug. 31, up 33 percent from a year ago. Additional income from discontinued operations brought Cargill’s net earnings to $495 million, a 43 percent increase from the prior year.
“This was an outstanding first quarter,” said Cargill Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Warren Staley. “Our primary processing and food ingredients segments performed solidly, though both were buffeted by price volatility in raw material and export markets. Recovery in global nutrient demand brought renewed vigor to our fertilizer operations. The steel businesses benefited from improved demand as well. Several of our risk management and financial units were strong. Today’s results reflect our employees’ commitment to becoming better collaborators and innovators, qualities that are helping us maintain the company’s earnings momentum in often difficult environments.”
Cargill continued investing in the company’s future growth. Following last January’s announcement, Cargill and IMC Global have advanced the formation of The Mosaic Company, a new, publicly traded company that will combine the two companies’ fertilizer operations worldwide. Regulatory authorities cleared the proposed combination in August. IMC Global will hold a special meeting of its common shareholders on Oct. 20, 2004, at which IMC common shareholders of record will vote on the proposed combination. If approved, the combination is expected to be completed shortly thereafter.
Cargill completed the purchase of two cocoa processing facilities in England and Germany from the Nestlé Group and an agreement to provide cocoa products to a number of Nestlé’s European confectionery businesses. The additions also enable Cargill to serve more closely the cocoa ingredients needs of other food, chocolate and confectionery companies based in Europe.
In the meat sector, Cargill acquired Caravelle Foods, a respected supplier of frozen beef patties to the quick-service restaurant industry in Canada. It also announced plans to purchase a majority share of Seara Alimentos, a leading Brazilian poultry and pork processor, and to make a tender offer for Seara’s remaining shares. Pending regulatory approval, Cargill expects to complete the purchase in February 2005. Caravelle and Seara both complement Cargill’s ability to provide meat customers with high-quality products and services that can be tailored to their individualized needs from multiple locations.