Despite a few setbacks in the global business environment, Cargill made a good showing in its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter and full year, particularly in the way of investments. From acquisitions to expansions, new facilities to new ventures, Cargill finished off its fiscal 2019 strong and stayed focused on moving faster, raising efficiency, and creating innovative solutions for its customers.
"Throughout the year, we faced a very challenging global business environment that slowed earnings. Still, we improved performance in several food and financial businesses and significantly reduced costs companywide," said Dave MacLennan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We want to accelerate growth in market segments where our expertise will help us create more value with our customers. Serving them inspires us to reach higher every day.”
In a press release, MacLennan pointed to the North American protein business, in particular, which led earnings by combining strong demand for beef and eggs with consumer insights that helped customers win in local markets. In fact, Cargill’s animal nutrition and protein sector was the biggest contributor to Cargill’s earnings for the quarter, with domestic and export demand for beef and egg products in particular remaining strong. As a result, Cargill invested in this sector, opening a $50 million addition to its poultry facilities in China, starting construction on another flagship facility in China, and opening a state-of-the-art premix plant in Jordan. The company also invested in Aleph Farms as a means of diversifying its protein business and bringing the cultured meat company closer to commercialization.
Other fiscal 2019 fourth quarter and full year—ended May 31, 2019—highlights included the following:
In the food ingredient sector, Cargill completed the acquisition of Belgian chocolate company, Smet; began construction on a $150 million pectin plant in Brazil; opened a food and nutrition innovation center in Singapore; and announced a $110 million expansion to its corn processing facility in China.
"We are proud of how far we've come in our 154-year-old history, and we know together we can achieve more," MacLennan continued. "With our partners, we are striving to push forward and redefine food systems for everyone's benefit."
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