Record surpluses boost Louis Dreyfus six-month results

by World Grain Staff
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ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Louis Dreyfus Commodities BV announced on Sept. 29 that income before tax was $315 million for the six-month period ended June 30, up 10% from $287 million a year ago.

Net income, group share, was $260 million, in line with results from the same period a year ago. Net sales were $33.7 billion, up 16% from the $29.2 billion in the same period last year.

For most agricultural markets, the first half of the year was marked by forecasts of abundant crops. Geopolitical turmoil and climatic uncertainties in specific regions only periodically affected fundamentals in a context of record or near-record surpluses.

“Our business model, based on a broad and geographically diversified portfolio, enabled us to deliver good performance and increase our volumes. We saw solid contributions in each segment, with the Merchandizing segment platforms seizing market opportunities, and the value chain segment benefiting from good processing margins and efficient assets. In the first half of 2014, we also invested $315 million in pursuit of our targeted capital expenditure plan. Our long-term aim is to grow our asset base across the value chain in order to be able to respond to rising demand,” said Claude Ehlinger, interim chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Louis Dreyfus Commodities.

The group entered into the business of processing corn and merchandizing corn grits, pet food, and other corn products, through the acquisition of Kowalski Alimentos S.A., one of the largest Brazilian corn dry milling players. Louis Dreyfus Commodities also expanded its logistics network for rice, grains, oilseeds and coffee in various locations including Brazil, Australia, Senegal, Europe, Vietnam and the U.S.

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