MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Net earnings in the fiscal year ended May 31 dropped 17% to $2.56 billion when compared to the previous fiscal year for Minneapolis-based Cargill. Full-year revenues dipped 1% to $113.5 billion.
“Throughout the year, we faced a very challenging global business environment that slowed earnings,” said David W. MacLennan, chairman and chief executive officer, when the company reported its financial results July 11. “Still, we improved performance in several food and financial businesses and significantly reduced costs companywide.”
In the fourth quarter, net earnings of $235 million were down 67% from $711 million in the previous year’s fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter revenues slipped 1% to $29.9 billion.
The company’s Food Ingredients & Applications segment delivered mixed results. Within the segment, fourth-quarter results for starches and sweeteners trailed the previous year’s fourth quarter as higher energy and raw material costs in Europe offset improved sales volume in North America. Edible oils had a softer fourth quarter. Cocoa and chocolate improved in the quarter.
The uncertainty surrounding trade between the United States and China negatively impacted the Origination & Processing segment by disrupting trade flows, especially in corn and oilseeds. Adverse wet weather in the interior of the United States slowed grain marketing and transportation services.
Fourth-quarter results in Cargill’s Animal Nutrition & Protein segment came close to matching the results of the previous year’s fourth quarter. Spring flooding in the Midwest in the United States delayed cattle shipments, and cool weather dampened the start of the outdoor grilling season. Domestic and export demand remained strong for beef, and domestic demand was strong for value-added egg products. Global poultry results trailed the previous year’s fourth quarter as a mix of market and operating challenges across regions hampered results.
Earnings in the Industrials & Financial Services segment rose in the fourth quarter due to improved results across metals, risk management and trade finance.