Cargill Company reports 2018 fourth-quarter and full-year results
Adjusted operating earnings reached $ 3.2 bn., up 6% from last year’s strong comparative of $3.04 bn. Net earnings equaled $ 3.1 bn., a 9% increase and the third straight year of improved performance on a U.S. GAAP basis. Both adjusted and net earnings included a provisional net charge of $ 86 mill. related to the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017. This represents a decrease from the estimate provided in the company’s third-quarter release. Revenues grew 5% to $114.7 bn. Cash flow from operations increased 11% to $5.22 bn.
Animal Nutrition & Protein surpassed last year’s strong results, making the segment the largest contributor to Cargill’s adjusted operating earnings in the fourth quarter and the full year. The protein business delivered an exceptional performance, fueled by rising domestic and export demand for North American beef and steady expansion in value-added egg products. Global growth in feed additives, micronutrients and premixes for customized animal nutrition also boosted earnings for the year. Excess supplies of chicken relative to domestic demand in Thailand contributed to a moderate decrease in global poultry results in both periods.
During the year, the segment invested significantly to serve growing demand for protein. It acquired Pollos El Bucanero, a leading retail-branded poultry business in Colombia. It formed U.K.-based Avara Foods, a fresh poultry joint venture, and opened a major poultry processing plant in the Philippines with Jollibee Foods. In the U.S., the segment expanded facilities for fresh ground beef, and cooked meat and eggs. Segment growth initiatives in fiscal 2018 included a joint venture with Minneapolis-based Puris to serve rising demand for plant-based proteins.
On Aug. 7, Cargill will release its annual report for fiscal year 2018.