Cargill’s earnings in food ingredients and applications decreased on mixed performance, the segment being the second-largest contributor to company earnings, while animal nutrition and protein led company results for the fourth successive quarter, according to Cargill’s 2018 third-quarter fiscal report results.
With interest in plant-based foods on the rise, Cargill invested USD25m in a joint venture with Minneapolis-based Puris, the largest North American producer of pea protein.
The company mills yellow peas into nutritious, highly functional proteins for use in label-friendly baked goods, cereals, dry blend beverages, snack bars and more. Through the joint venture, Cargill and Puris will expand manufacturing and commercial capabilities to support growth in new markets, according to Cargill’s financial report.
Also in food ingredients, Cargill’s salt business opened its first food-grade potassium chloride operation at its salt facility in Watkins Glen, New York. A naturally occurring mineral, potassium chloride enables food manufacturers to lower sodium content in a wide range of food products by up to 50%, without sacrificing taste or functionality.
Cocoa, chocolate and edible oils posted performance gains. Lower ethanol prices in North America and higher manufacturing costs in Europe tempered results in global sweeteners and starches; the third quarter also tends to be seasonally slower for corn sweeteners. Snowy weather boosted salt sales, but results were muted due to higher production costs, lower sales prices for road salt and rising truck freight costs on packaged salt products, according to the report.
Adjusted operating earnings for all Cargill’s operations were USD559m, a 22% decrease from last year’s USD715m. Nine-month earnings totaled USD2.4bn, down 7% from USD2.58bn a year ago.
Net earnings for the quarter on a U.S. GAAP basis were USD495m compared with USD650m a year ago. Third-quarter revenues rose 2% to USD27.85bn, increasing the year-to-date figure to USD84.32bn.
“Our steady results from operations demonstrate that our strategic direction is the right one,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The performance of our team worldwide keeps Cargill moving ahead, preparing us to continue to grow.”
Cargill also committed to continue the actions to advance a sustainable food system that nourishes the world.