ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, 21 March 2018 – Leading agribusiness company Louis Dreyfus Company B.V. (LDC), today reported consolidated net sales of US$43.0 billion1 in the fiscal year ended 31 December 2017, with shipped volumes up 5%2 compared to 2016. The company’s consolidated income before tax was US$405 million, compared to US$365 million the previous year, including the Metals business, which is in the process of being sold. LDC’s consolidated net income, Group Share, increased to US$317 million, compared to US$305 million at the end of 2016.
The Value Chain segment posted improved crushing and logistics margins. Growth in net sales was fueled by significantly increased volumes in Oilseeds and good levels of activity across the Grains, Freight and Rice platforms.
Leveraging local origination capabilities and increased customer focus generated solid profits within the Merchandizing segment. In a context of rising prices for the Cotton and Coffee platforms, both marketed additional volumes, resulting in a strong contribution to sales.
Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, Chairperson of Louis Dreyfus Holding B.V., commented: “Entrepreneurial know-how, combined with an ethos of customer-centricity and a strong sense of purpose, are the basis of our company culture, which has been central to Louis Dreyfus Company’s long-term growth. The continuing unpredictable environment of fluctuating market conditions and demands has created many challenges for our sector, but thanks to our strategic roadmap and experienced management team, we have been able to successfully navigate the business towards an improved performance in 2017.”
Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Dreyfus Company, commented: “Ongoing industry challenges continue to prevail, but 2017 results remained sound, with shipping volumes up by 5%2 and net income, Group Share, up by 4% on the previous year. This steady upward trend reflects the positive impact that our strategy has had on overall performance, a core element of which centers around keeping a focus on our core business areas. As a result, we concluded the sale of our Fertilizers and Inputs operations in Africa, signed on the sale of these operations in Australia, and we are in the process of selling our solid-performing Metals business. These sales will enable us to invest in and continue to build on the success of our core activities. Our investment focus will therefore remain predominantly on expanding our capacity and on adopting technological advancements that will improve efficiency and sustainability.”
In 2017, LDC issued two senior unsecured bonds for €400 million and US$300 million, reaffirming its presence on the debt capital markets. These bonds allow LDC to maintain the maturity profile of its long-term debt, and the diversification of its long-term funding. Both bonds, issued in February and June, respectively, were significantly oversubscribed, a reflection of strong investor interest and confidence. Part of the proceeds from these senior unsecured bonds was used to repay its US$350 million perpetual hybrid bonds, when the company exercised its redemption option in September.
2017 Financial Highlights
The complete 2017 Annual Report and Audited Consolidated Financial Statements are available at www.ldc.com.
1 Excluding net sales of US$12.4 billion and US$9.2 billion, for 2017 and 2016 respectively, from discontinued Metals operations.
2 Excluding discontinued Metals operations.