Consumer demand for beef, strong exports and abundant cattle supplies led protein results in North America.
MINNEAPOLIS – Cargill Chairman and CEO David MacLennan reported that the company is “off to a good start” as the company reported its fiscal 2018 first quarter results.

For the quarter ended Aug. 31, 2017, net earnings were $973 million compared to $852 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating earnings climbed 7 percent to $888 million compared with $827 million. Revenues for the quarter totaled $27.3 billion, edging ahead of last year’s $27.1 billion.

“We’re off to a good start in our new fiscal year, powered by the significant work we’ve done over the last few years and continuing to accelerate our performance,” MacLennan said. “Even as market conditions vary across our sectors, our teams are delivering for our customers and achieving results to fuel future growth.”

The company’s Animal Nutrition & Protein segment continued its momentum from fiscal 2017 into the new quarter with adjusted operating earnings up significantly from last year. Consumer demand for beef, strong exports and more abundant cattle supplies led protein results in North America, according to the company. Cargill’s global poultry business lagged slightly from its year-ago results.

Contributing to the segment’s results, at the start of the first quarter, Cargill acquired Colombian chicken and processed meats producer Pollos El Bucanero. In addition, the company invested in San Leandro, California-based Memphis Meats.

On the animal nutrition side of the segment, Cargill completed the purchase of Southern States Cooperative’s feed business and formed a partnership with Austria's Delacon, a maker of phytogenic feed additives for the animal nutrition market.

The Food Ingredients & Applications segment was the second-largest contributor to company earnings with cocoa and chocolate products, along with sweeteners and starches for food and other applications leading the financial results in most regions.

Outside of its financial results, Cargill is continuing efforts to strengthen its workforce though its participation in various programs. A new $4 million, three-year grant from the Cargill Foundation will support Minneapolis Public Schools and local partner AchieveMpls to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and college readiness programs.

The US Dept. of Defense honored Cargill with the Freedom Award for its support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Fifteen recipients were selected from more than 3,000 nominees this year.

In addition, the company signed on to the newly launched CEO Action for Diversity, a collaboration among more than 150 CEOs who pledge to foster environments in their companies where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcomed.

“The strength of our business rests in our people and communities,” MacLennan said. “In a fast-changing world, we are doing all we can to create a workplace where employees can excel, to empower people with the skills they will need for the jobs of tomorrow, and to support the communities where we live and work.”