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Company update: Land O'Lakes

Land O'Lakes, Inc., announced record-high net earnings for 2009, achieved in what company officials termed a difficult and volatile economic environment and marketplace.

For 2009 farmer cooperative Land O’Lakes recorded net earnings of $209 million and a record-high cash returned to members of $108 million. Net sales amounted to $10.4 billion, the company's second-highest revenue total.
 
"Despite a weak economy, Land O'Lakes delivered solid financial results — including record-high net earnings — because we met the needs of a changing marketplace”, said Chris Policinski, Land O'Lakes president and CEO.
 
“The strength of our brands, aggressive and targeted marketing, and adjusting our product mix to meet customer and consumer preferences all contributed to our outstanding results."
 
Land O’Lakes by origin is a dairy company, but also has a animal feed branch and an egg business (MoArk).
 
Land O'Lakes 2009 sales totalled $10.4 billion, down 14% from 2008's record $12 billion. The 2009 decline was largely due to lower commodity prices nearly across all businesses, and the impact of the recessionary economy on consumer and customer purchasing decisions.
 
Record-high net earnings of $209 million for 2009 were up 31% from 2008.
 
Feed business
LOL Purina Feeds reported $29.8 million in 2009 pretax earnings, up from $500,000 in 2008.
 
Feed results for 2009 include an $18.4 million unrealized hedging gain, compared to a $29.0 million unrealized hedging loss as of Dec. 31, 2008.
 
Feed sales for 2009 were $3.4 billion, down from $3.9 billion in 2008. Volumes were mixed, with financial stress and lower commodity prices in the dairy and beef markets contributing to reduced volumes and a lower-priced product mix in the livestock segment. Lifestyle feed and Milk Replacer volumes were up.
 
Land O'Lakes, Inc. is a US, farmer-owned food and agricultural cooperative and does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries.
 
It is a leading marketer of a full line of dairy-based consumer, foodservice and food ingredient products across the United States; serves its international customers with a variety of food and animal feed ingredients; and provides farmers and ranchers with an extensive line of agricultural supplies (feed, seed, and crop protection products) and services.
 
Land O'Lakes also provides agricultural assistance and technical training in more than 25 developing nations.

Dick Ziggers

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