Cargill reports profit over US$1 billion
Agriculture giant Cargill Inc. reported fiscal fourth-quarter net profit
of $1.05 billion (U.S.), driven by its global grain transportation unit and the
sale of a power plant in the United Kingdom.
The company said profit from operations rose 18 per
cent to $744 million in the period from $628 million a year earlier amid demand
for grains like soybeans and corn, which hit all-time highs this year. Cargill
buys grain from farmers, ships it to foreign and domestic markets and processes
it into food ingredients and other products. Fourth-quarter net income was
padded by the $310 million sale of the gas-powered turbine plant, Teesside Power
Cargill's investment in the fertilizer market also drove profit. In
2004 the company became a majority shareholder of the publicly traded
fertilizer-maker Mosaic Co. The company's stock more than tripled during
Cargill's 2008 fiscal year alone, rising from $30 a share to $125 a share in
May. It closed at $103.50 yesterday.
For the full fiscal year, Cargill
earned $3.64 billion from continuing operations, a 55 per cent increase from
$2.34 billion a year ago. The $310 million gain on the sale of discontinued
operations in the fourth quarter brought fiscal 2008 net earnings to $3.95
billion. Revenue rose 36 per cent to $120.4 billion. Cash flow from operations
increased 77 per cent to $7 billion.Related
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