The agricultural giant said it brought in profits of $898m in Q3, compared to $326m for the same period a year earlier. The company also said its agricultural services division benefited from a large, late North American harvest, and that food ingredients and applications had recovered from “the recessionary conditions that negatively affected last year's third quarter”.
In addition, the company said there was an increase in earnings from its majority investment in the Mosaic Company. This stands in contrast to Cargill’s Q2 earnings, which were dragged down by the fertiliser and feed producer. Mosaic announced at the end of November an almost 90 percent drop in earnings after phosphate prices crashed and demand for potash fell away.
But Cargill has emphasized that it is continuing to invest, particularly in emerging markets, where economic recovery has been more rapid.
Cargill’s chairman and CEO Greg Page said: "The growth in Cargill's third-quarter earnings was broad based, with all five of our business segments posting improved results from a year ago. Because of the connections across our diverse portfolio of businesses, we were able to benefit from the faster pace of economic recovery occurring in emerging markets.
“In developed countries, where economic conditions are improving more slowly, the focus on supporting the supply chain management needs of our customers helped results, as did the attention paid internally to managing costs and running our facilities as efficiently as possible."
However, sales were down in the first nine months of Cargill’s fiscal year, in which it earned $1.91 billion, down from $3.01 billion a year earlier.
The company said that excluding Mosaic and discontinued operations, its nine-month results were “close to the year-ago level”.
As a private company, Cargill does not publish its full financial results, nor give a breakdown of performance across divisions.