by Shruti Date Singh
Cargill Inc., the U.S. agricultural commodities giant, posted an 8% gain in its fiscal third quarter as the company warned it sees no immediate improvement in its markets.
Net income rose to $459 million in three months through February from $425 million a year earlier, Minneapolis-based Cargill said Thursday in a statement. Sales declined 11% to $25.2 billion.
"With agriculture and energy markets as tough as we’ve seen in a long time, we’re pleased with the gain in earnings achieved this quarter,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David MacLennan said in the statement. "Barring weather events, we don’t anticipate a near-term improvement in market conditions for agriculture."
The 151-year-old company has a diverse range of businesses including grain trading and livestock processing. Cargill has been reshaping its portfolio as well as its leadership over the past year. Its Black River Asset Management investment unit has been broken up and spun off, while it sold its U.S. pork business to Brazil’s JBS SA and exited steel production by selling a stake in an Ohio mill. Cargill also bought Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.’s chocolate business and a salmon feed producer.
The largest closely held company in the U.S. announced in November plans to scrap its two-tier executive leadership structure in favor of a single team. Executive departures in recent months have included the head of the company’s cotton unit.
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