Bunge Ltd. net income surges in 2001

by Chrystal Shannon
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Net income of Bunge Ltd. in the year ended Dec. 31 was U.S.$134 million, up dramatically from $12 million in 2000. Net sales were $11.5 million, up 19%.

Alberto Weisser, chairman and c.e.o., said Bunge’s 2001 results were its best in the previous five years despite weakness in the global economy, currency devaluations in Brazil and Argentina and the adverse effects of Sept. 11. "The agribusiness industry is experiencing a cyclical upturn, and Bunge is performing better than ever," he said.

Bunge’s Agribusiness segment, which includes grain origination, oilseed processing and international marketing, improved 242% on growth driven by global demand for soybean meal and oil, a return to normal processing margins, and increased sales volumes in its international marketing operations and South American grain origination.

Wheat milling results also improved. Weisser said Bunge’s wheat milling business was "generating better returns than we have seen in years, proving that our strong focus on costs during the down cycle is paying dividends as wheat margins recover."