Cargill reported net earnings of $327 million in the fourth fiscal 2009 quarter that ended May 31, down 69% from $1.05 billion in the same period a year ago. For the full fiscal year, Cargill earned $3.33 billion, a 16% decrease from a record $3.95 billion in the prior year. Revenues for the full year decreased 3% to $116.6 billion, while cash flow from operations declined 6% to $6.7 billion.”
“The year was a tale of two halves,” Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer said August 18. “Cargill posted record results through November. In the second half, earnings slowed considerably as the world economy contracted for the first time in six decades. In the end, the net effect was the second-best year in our company’s history.”
Page credited Cargill’s profitability to four factors. “The company went into the downturn with a strong balance sheet. We acted early to reduce costs and decrease the use of debt and operating working capital. Our trading teams anticipated price volatility correctly in both the run-up and run down in commodity values. We kept the focus on being a reliable supplier to our customers—helping them meet the challenges of these difficult economic times.”
Cargill continued to reinvest globally in fiscal 2009. It opened or expanded major processing facilities in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Ghana and the United States that strengthen its global supply chains in canola, cocoa, palm, soy, and biofuels.
Page said Cargill expects the effects of the decline in world economic growth to persist for some time. “The path to economic recovery may well be uneven, but Cargill remains optimistic.”