Decatur, IL — Archer Daniels Midland Co. posted third-quarter net earnings of $476 million, up from $182 for the same period one year ago in spite of the 2012 drought, the company reported today.
ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz attributes the stability to strong performance in the oilseeds business in the Americas; improved margins for ethanol in its corn sector and stability of its agricultural services operations in transitioning to new crop. She is optimistic about future profitability: “As record global crop supplies refill the pipeline, we will employ our efficient network to meet strong demand from customers around the world.”
North American oilseed processing, including cocoa, accounted for profits of $25 million as a result of gains in refining, packaging and biodiesel. Cocoa and other processing accounted for $5 million compared with $29 million for the same period in 2012, but it is the first time this year that ADM’s cocoa operations have finished in the black. Third-quarter processed volumes of 1.8 million metric tons for milling and cocoa were reported, up from 1.7 million metric tons for the first half of 2013 and outpacing volume for Q3 2012.
“We are happy to report that business conditions improved in the third quarter, and we’re very proud of the way our team capitalized on the improved business environment,” Woertz said. She added: “Regarding discussions about the potential sale of this business, we have no news.”
ADM is in the final stages of selling its cocoa business to Cargill, Inc., allowing the company to refocus its resources on its grain and soy operations.
Corn processing operations for the quarter accounted for $91 million in profits compared with Q3 2012 on the strength of ethanol production and sweetener shipments to Mexico. However, gains from agricultural services rose by only $24 million as merchandising and handling and milling profits trailed levels for the same period in 2012.
Woertz notes that cost management, business expansion and portfolio management initiatives were on track, and projected strong fourth quarter profits into 2014, partly as a result of record global yields.