NEW YORK, April 29 Archer Daniels Midland
said on Tuesday its cocoa business returned to a profit
in the first quarter, the latest sign of a turnaround at a niche
division just weeks after the U.S. food and farming giant said
it dropped plans to sell its cocoa operations.
Operating profits for the cocoa business, which includes
bean processing and chocolate making and lost $33 million in
2013, were $30 million in the first three months. That compares
with a $27 million loss in the same period last year.
The result excludes a $24 million charge for cocoa hedge
"The margin environment in the cocoa business continued to
improve," ADM said in a statement without giving more details.
The company processed 1.8 million tonnes of beans, up 2
percent from a year earlier.
Cocoa outperformed the overall group, which reported
lower-than-expected earnings as harsh U.S. weather hurt its core
The results come just weeks after ADM ditched plans to sell
the business in its entirety after long-running talks collapsed.
Instead it will divest the chocolate manufacturing
operations, which a spokeswoman said earlier this month was
still loss making.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Alden Bentley)