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Bunge 1Q higher than expected


Last week we reported on the emergence of a new ingredients company Solae, born from the funds of agribusiness Bunge and DuPont Protein Technologies. Buoyancy continues for Bunge with the company announcing on Monday an increase in its projected net income for the quarter ending 31 March 2003.

The US agribusiness raised the net income for the period from $30 (€28 million) to $35 million, or $0.30 to $0.35 per share. This compares to the first quarter of 2002 where Bunge earned net income of $13 million, or $0.15 per share.

Bill Wells, chief financial officer of Bunge, commented: "We are experiencing strong performance in the first quarter across most of our businesses, especially in our South American oilseed processing and fertiliser businesses."

Bunge also witnessed a strong performance in the company's international marketing operations, partially offset by weakness in North American oilseed processing.

"We are projecting our 2003 second quarter net income to be within a range of $55 to $60 million, or $0.55 to $0.60 per share. For the full year 2003, we are reaffirming our guidance of $260 to $270 million, or $2.62 to $2.72 per share. This does not include any potential positive effects from the closing of our Solae joint venture with DuPont," added Wells.

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