USA, Minneapolis. Cargill reported results for the fiscal 2020 first quarter ended Aug. 31, 2019. Adjusted operating earnings were $908 mill., up 3% from $883 mill. last year. Net earnings on a US GAAP basis were $915 mill., a 10% decrease from last year’s strong comparative of $1.02 bn. First-quarter revenues rose 1% to $29 bn.
“Our year started on a good note as we continued to help our customers navigate an unpredictable business environment,” said Dave MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Right now, we are focused on modernizing all aspects of our operations so we can effectively and efficiently provide our customers with solutions they value everywhere they do business.”
Global protein led the way, with strong results in North America as the business brought innovative solutions to customers to help them meet strong consumer demand for beef and eggs. Protein in Europe and Asia climbed due to good poultry performance in China, Thailand and the UK. Similarly, protein in Latin America improved despite a difficult operating environment. Despite pressure from ASF, results improved in global compound feeds as the business combined an advantageous product mix with effective cost management.
During the quarter, Cargill expanded a joint venture and formed new partnerships: The company invested an additional $75 mill. in Puris, the largest manufacturer of pea protein in North America. This will help the firm more than double production by repurposing an existing facility in Minnesota to supply plant-based proteins, starches and fibers to food and beverage customers. The company also formed a commercial partnership with InnovaFeed, a leader in producing protein for feed from insects, to jointly market these feeds as it seeks to support the growth of sustainable aquaculture worldwide. Similarly, an agreement with biotech company White Dog Labs provides Cargill with access to a fermentation-based protein for use in salmon feeds.
The company announced the BeefUp Sustainability program, which by 2030 will reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 30% across its beef supply chain per pound of product by focusing on grazing management, feed production, innovation and food waste reduction. With partner Heifer International, Cargill and customer Distribuidora El Tio expanded the Hatching Hope Global Initiative to Mexico. To nurture breakthrough innovations, Cargill, Techstars and Ecolab debuted the second cohort of their Farm to Fork Accelerator. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Research Park will house Cargill’s newest Innovation Lab, where a team of data scientists and lab students will work directly with Cargill business leaders, operations teams and customers to find digital solutions to food and agriculture challenges.