Negative US ethanol margins push down ADM’s fiscal Q4 net earnings

31 July 2012 12:56  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) fiscal fourth-quarter net earnings fell 25% year on year to $284m (€233m), on the back of negative US ethanol margins, the US-based agribusiness group said on Tuesday.

ADM's net sales during the quarter fell 0.9% year on year to $22.7bn, it added.

The group’s segment operating profit during its fiscal fourth quarter almost halved to $544m from $921m reported in the same period the year before.

“In a challenging fourth quarter, solid results from our global oilseeds business, particularly in South America, were more than offset by negative US ethanol margins and weaker US merchandising results,” said ADM chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz.

ADM’s Oilseeds Processing operating profit in its fiscal fourth quarter was $331m, down $118m from the same period one year earlier, as improved South American soybean results were offset by lower North American softseeds crushing margins, the company said.

The group’s Corn Processing profit during the quarter fell $48m from the same period one year earlier to $74m, “as significantly weaker ethanol results more than offset improvements in other bioproducts businesses”.

“Industry ethanol replacement margins were negative throughout the quarter, as the industry supply continued to exceed demand,” ADM added.

ADM’s Agricultural Services operating profit was $123m, down $222m from the same period a year before, on lower US exports.

For the group’s fiscal year ended 30 June 2012, net earnings plummeted to $1.22bn from $2.04bn the year before, despite net sales rising 10% to $89.04bn.

“As we look ahead, while drought has reduced the potential size of the US corn crop, we are tracking the development of other crops in North America and Europe,” said Woertz.

“While US crop carry outs are expected to be low, we have an experienced business team to manage through this environment,” Woertz added.

($1 = €0.82)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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