Negative ethanol margins drive down US ADM fiscal Q1 earnings

30 October 2012 12:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM) fiscal first-quarter net earnings fell by 60% year on year to $182m (€142m), as strong oilseeds earnings were offset by negative ethanol margins, the company said on Tuesday.

ADM’s net sales during the quarter ended 30 September fell 0.4% year on year to $21.8bn, the company added.

The group’s segment operating profit during its fiscal first quarter fell by 31% to $498m from $721m in the same period of 2011.

“Our first-quarter segment results were mixed. Oilseeds performance was strong, the ethanol industry experienced sustained negative margins, and Agricultural Services managed well through a complicated quarter, challenged by the drought,” said ADM CEO Patricia Woertz.

ADM’s Oilseeds Processing operating profit during its fiscal first quarter was $336m, up $116m from the same period last year, as a result of strong US soybean demand and improved European soybean and rapeseed crushing earnings, the company said.

The group’s corn processing profit during the quarter fell $115m from the same period one year earlier to $68m as a result of weak US exports and slower-than-expected rollout of E15, an automotive fuel made up of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline.

“Weak US ethanol exports, strong Brazilian imports and slow E15 implementation kept industry margins negative,” the company said.

ADM’s Agricultural Services operating profit was $78m, a 76% decline from the same period a year before as a result of poor US harvests, according to the company.

“Longer-term, we remain optimistic as we see continued growth in global demand for protein meal and other agricultural products. We continue to execute our strategy, aligning our business to serve rising demand from customers around the world,” Woertz added.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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