August 17, 2010 / 1:42 PM / in 7 years

Cargill quarterly earnings more than double

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Agribusiness and trading giant Cargill Inc CARG.UL said quarterly earnings more than doubled, with all five of its main global business segments posting profits.

Minneapolis-based Cargill, one of the world’s largest privately held corporations, reported net earnings of $691 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ended May 31, up from $327 million a year earlier.

Excluding earnings from its majority stake in fertilizer maker Mosaic Co (MOS.N), earnings rose 87 percent to $433 million. Revenue was $28.1 billion, up 11 percent.

Cargill is a leading U.S. grain exporter, biofuels producer, food processor and energy trader. Mosaic is a top producer of phosphates and potash.

Cargill’s full-year earnings totaled $2.6 billion, down 22 percent from the prior fiscal year, reflecting weak results from Mosaic.

Excluding Mosaic, full-year earnings rose 14 percent to $2.07 billion. Full-year revenue was $107.9 billion, down from $115.1 billion a year earlier.

“Fifty-six percent of the company’s business units delivered increased earnings for the full year, including 20 percent at record levels,” Cargill CEO Greg Page said in a statement.

The company remains focused on growth, he said. It opened 17 new and expanded large-scale facilities worldwide, including joint ventures, during the year, with 15 more projects under way.

    “This represents a global, multiyear investment of more than $1.1 billion,” Page said.

    All five Cargill business segments posted profits during the fourth quarter. Three -- food ingredients, agriculture services, and risk management and financial -- reported profits for the year.

    Cargill’s origination and processing group and its industrial unit, which includes its Mosaic investment, posted full-year profit declines. But performance picked up in both segments in the fourth quarter, the company said.

    Fewer trading opportunities amid range-bound grain markets weighed on origination and processing results, while the fertilizer industry was under pressure most of the year due to poor sales amid tight credit and falling commodity prices.

    Reporting by Christine Stebbins; editing by John Wallace

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