* Secretive group start to open up after bond issue
* The group to pursue ambitious investment plan
* Firm posts 20 pct fall in profits due to bad FX impact
PARIS, Nov 13 Agricultural commodities trader
Louis Dreyfus said first-half profit fell 20 percent, in its
first-ever published results, hit by higher foreign exchange
costs at its Brazilian sugar unit.
Geneva-based LDC reported a $356 million net profit for the
first six months of 2012, down from $448 million in the same
period last year.
The drop was partly attributed to an unfavourable foreign
exchange impact on its Brazilian unit Biosev, which the company
failed to list this year due to weak market conditions.
The 160-year old company is starting to open up after it
carried out a successful bond issue in September worth $350
million. As a result, the company now has to be more transparent
towards its creditors.
Louis Dreyfus is the "D" of the so-called "ABCD" majors -
along with Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and
Cargill - that dominate agricultural commodity flows.
Louis Dreyfus said earlier this year it planned to increase
investments by 40 percent over the next five years compared with
the 2006-2011 period and has since participated in the
multi-billion-dollar listing of Malaysian palm oil group Felda
Global Ventures Holding Bhd's and bought Dutch dairy
The group said it would pursue an ambitious investment plan
despite severe droughts in Latin America and the United States.
Capital expenditure stood at $667 million in the first half
of the year.
The Group also said it would continue to build its global
network and diversify both geographically and in term of
Louis Dreyfus, a firm with French roots with its head office
in the Netherlands and its main trading operations in
Switzerland, has been expanding its core agricultural trading
business and ditching other operations such as
telecommunications and real estate.
Owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus has dismissed the idea of
listing the firm on a stock market, but market rumours persist
at a time of unprecedented change in the ways the titans of
commodity trading are funding their operations.
(Reporting by Muriel Boselli; Editing by Mike Nesbit)