Cargill Proteins and food ingredients were the drivers
Key results include total revenues of $27.3 bn., a little way ahead of last year’s $27.1 bn., and encouraging performances in the fields of protein and human and animal nutrition.
Adjusted operating earnings totaled $888 mill., exceeding by 7% the $827 mill. earned in last year’s comparative period. Net earnings on a US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis were $973 mill., up 14% from $852 mill. a year ago.
Animal Nutrition & Protein carried its momentum from fiscal 2017 into the new quarter, Cargill reports, with adjusted operating earnings up significantly from last year. Protein results in North America were lifted by brisk consumer demand for beef, strong exports and more abundant cattle supplies, resulting in better utilization of processing capacity.
Global poultry slightly lagged over the year-ago period, as somewhat weaker results in Central America contrasted with strong domestic sales and exports out of Southeast Asia. Global animal nutrition nearly reached last year’s quarterly results. Cargill adds that gains attributable to sales of value-added feed additives and premixes were offset by market pressures in aquafeeds in Europe and swine in Vietnam.
Food Ingredients & Applications was the second-largest contributor to company earnings, as continued attention to raising commercial capabilities and operating efficiencies yielded improved earnings.
At the start of the quarter, Cargill acquired Pollos El Bucanero, a leading producer of chicken and processed meats in Colombia. Cargill also invested in San Leandro, California, US-based Memphis Meats in the protein space. The young company is developing methods to cultivate meat directly from animal cells. Over time, cultured proteins could potentially complement conventionally produced meats as part of the equation to sustainably nourish the future, Cargill reports.