BAAR, SWITZERLAND — Strong results from Viterra pushed Glencore International’s agricultural adjusted EBITDA in 2014 up 172% from the previous year, the company announced on March 3.
The company said EBITDA for the segment was $1.209 billion, up from $444 million in 2013. EBIT was $992 million, up from $192 million a year earlier.
Glencore, which is a global diversified natural resources company that produces and markets more than 90 commodities, purchased Viterra at the end of 2012.
Glencore reported overall adjusted EBITDA of $12.8 billion for 2014, a drop of 2% from the prior year’s EBITDA of $13.071 billion. Adjusted EBIT was down 10% to $6.706 million due to lower commodity prices on the company’s industrial assets.
“Our ultimate goal remains to grow our free cash flow and return excess capital in the most sustainable and efficient manner,” said Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg. “As the most diversified raw material producer and marketer, Glencore is well positioned to react to and benefit from changes in commodity fundamentals. Glencore will continue to focus on maximising the value of the potential within our businesses. We look forward to the future with confidence.”
Glencore attributed its agriculture earnings increase to strong results from Viterra, including the benefit of large crops in Canada and South Australia, and a full-year of post integration cost synergies. The traditional marketing business and the industrial activities also delivered improved results, the company said.
“We were able to overcome the challenges provided by an early season shortage of railroad capacity in Canada, while port facilities in both Russia and Ukraine benefited from strong early crop year export volumes,” the company said. “Our global marketing network was able to enhance the performance of the handling business and global marketing itself produced satisfactory results. Oilseed marketing in particular, well integrated with our crushing assets in Europe and South America, contributed strongly.”
Barring significant crop issues, Glencore said global markets are likely to remain relatively low priced and subdued. Crop progress in Brazil and Argentina is excellent, and may be at record levels, which is good for the oilseed crushing business, the company said.
Conversely, weak diesel prices will adversely impact biodiesel margins. Adjusted EBITDA was $213 million, a 249% increase on 2013, mainly due to the higher crush volumes at Timbues, Argentina. The plant was fully operational for the whole year, and Glencore increased its ownership to 50% from 33%. Timbues also drove the increase in processing volumes.