Cargill Earnings Triple in Second Quarter

Minnesota's largest private company saw an impressive second quarter, with earnings increases in four of its five business segments.

Wayzata-based Cargill, Inc., announced on Wednesday earnings of $1.49 billion for the quarter that ended on November 30-triple its earnings of $489 million from the same period last year.

The company reported revenue of $31.1 billion, representing a 16 percent year-over-year increase.

“Cargill generated strong results across the breadth of our businesses,” Greg Page, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “The diversity and balance built into the mix provides the company with a great deal of resilience. By tapping the connectivity among our businesses, we also put more knowledge and insight to work on behalf of customers. Increasingly, they look to Cargill for innovation that supports their growth objectives.”

Four of Cargill's five business segments experienced increased earnings during the second quarter-led by its origination and processing segment, which the company said accurately predicted the first quarter's weather and the resulting supply and demand dynamics.

Industrial earnings were up, too-a boost the company attributes to its majority investment in Plymouth-based The Mosaic Company. That's a turnaround from recent financial results: As recently as last year's fourth quarter, the company said its full-year net earnings were hurt by its investment in Mosaic. The company also saw earnings increases in its agricultural services and food ingredients segments.

Earnings dropped only in Cargill's risk management and financial segment-a result of what the company called “sluggish demand in range-bound energy markets.”

Cargill announced in December that it would acquire a majority share of Indonesia-based PT Sorini Agro Asia Corporindo and a commodity management business from Calgary-based Agrium.

On Wednesday, the company also said that it has acquired Germany-based chocolate company KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB) for an undisclosed sum. Cargill said that KVB's two Berlin plants will add to its existing cocoa and chocolate facilities in Germany.

Last week, Cargill announced a joint venture with Magnetation, Inc.-a mining company based in Nashwauk-to develop and use Magnetation's proprietary mineral processing technology.

Cargill is Minnesota's largest private company based on revenue, which totaled $107.9 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year.