The company reported earnings of $2.31bn in fiscal 2013, up from $1.17bn in fiscal 2012. Revenues were up 2% year-on-year to $136.7bn, while cash flow from operations increased 19% year-on-year to $4.18bn. Earnings for the fourth quarter ended May 31 reached $483m, up from just $73m in Q4 2012. Fourth-quarter revenues were up 4% to $35.4bn.
However, combined earnings among Cargill’s animal protein businesses were down year-on-year, which the company said was due to “negative impacts of drought, high feed costs and, in the US, the tightest cattle supply in 60 years.”
Cargill said its organisation and processing segment was the “largest contributor” to consolidated earnings, while its food ingredients and applications segment was a “significant” contributor, with combined earnings ahead of last year’s record despite challenges posed by the drought and high commodity prices.
“Nearly all of our business units were profitable, and more than two-thirds exceeded year-ago results. We did a better job of delivering innovations and solutions that help our customers succeed. We also drew on our sourcing, logistical and risk management skills to navigate volatile commodity markets in the first half that were driven by severe weather,” said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and CEO.
Cargill has been investing heavily in its international poultry segment and has recently invested in a poultry processing plant in Russia, an integrated poultry production and processing complex in China’s Anhui province and additional poultry processing capacity in Korat, Thailand. The company is also building an animal nutrition facility in South Korea.