Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Louis Dreyfus Unveils First Public Results

From Agrimoney:
Louis Dreyfus lifted the lid on commodities operations such as its 45 orange groves, and unveiled a healthy appetite for investment, as, after 160 years, it unveiled its first public results statement.
The group's commodities arm, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, revealed that it spent $667m in capital investment in the first half of the year, on schemes including port investments at Baton Rouge in the US and Bahia Blanca in Argentina, and on its first feed mill in China.
The sum also included the $203m bill for acquiring Imperial Sugar, and a smaller purchase of an orange processing plant in Parana, Brazil, where the group is also building a coffee warehouse.
The group also bought $6.8m of orange groves, taking its total holding to 45 groves, in Brazil, of which 38 are mature.
It added $2.9m in cane plantations to a portfolio now numbering 13 plantations, also in Brazil.
'Ambitious investment plan'
And the group said it was continue what chief executive Serge Schoen termed an "ambitious investment plan" aimed at boosting its presence in both exporting and importing countries, and in "building a strong presence all along the value chain".
Indeed, the group has since the end of June completed the purchase of Dutch-based dairy trading group Ecoval, while in July entering a joint venture agreement for the development of deep water terminal in Taman, southern Russia.
"Louis Dreyfus Commodities is confident looking forward," Mr Schoen said, adding that even a 20% drop in earnings to $356m in the first half was "solid" against a background of a "a lack of visibility and significant uncertainty" in the global macroeconomic environment.
The result, on net sales down 5.7% at $27.6bn, was "still going on record as one of the best first-half performance in the group's history", the company said.
'Good margins'
The group's proteins division fared best among its major divisions, raising operating profits by 8.8% to $628m, helped by "good" soybean crushing margins in North America and the US, and by business sourcing South American crops "perceived as cheaper alternatives" to rival US supplies....MORE
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