ADM gears up to build new US cocoa plant

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soybean

Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to build a new
US cocoa processing facility in a move designed to meet growing
demand for its cocoa ingredients.

The company last week said it expects the new facility, in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, to be operational by mid-2007.

Pending final permitting approvals, construction of the new plant is set to begin this fall, said the company.

ADM, which is one of the world's largest processors of cocoa, said it is confident its new facility will strengthen its position in the global cocoa market.

The company, which was unavailable for comment, already has cocoa processing plants in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. It had previously announced plans to build a new cocoa processing facility located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

The Decatur-based company is also one of the world's largest processors of soybeans, corn and wheat, as well as a leader in the production of soybean oil and meal, ethanol, corn sweeteners and flour.

The company, which owns over 250 processing plants, last year reported net sales of $35.9 billion.

Sales for the company's second quarter this financial year, ending 31 December 2005, were $9.3 billion, an increase of three per cent compared to the same period in 2004.

Second quarter operating profit increased to $524 million (€435m), a rise of eight per cent.

Management said the results from the quarter reflected the company's strategic use of its worldwide network to expand its food and industrial markets.

The company's third quarter results are due to be released on May 2.

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