ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, 28 September 2017 – Louis Dreyfus Company B.V. (LDC) today announced its consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended June 30th, 2017.
Net sales reached US$27.7 billion, up 18% from US$23.5 billion in the same period last year, with the growth being attributable to an 8% increase in volumes shipped year-on-year and a slight improvement in the market price environment for the majority of commodities that the Group handles. Income before tax stood at US$206 million, compared to US$151 million the previous year. The Group reported a consolidated net income, Group Share, of US$160 million, up from US$135 million one year ago. The Return On Equity (ROE)1, Group Share, was 6.3%, compared to 5.5% for the same period in 2016.
“The half year results, in what continues to be a fundamentally challenging market for the agricultural sector, show our ability to adapt to constantly evolving conditions through the diversity of our platforms, and that our customer-centric and entrepreneurial mindset is helping us to deliver solid results,” said Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Dreyfus Company. “We are starting to see renewed optimism, most notably in Europe, but still recognize the need for flexibility to adjust our geographic and operational footprint. We have successfully begun a divestment process for some non-strategic assets and since closing the first half of the year, we have also entered into an agreement to sell our African fertilizers and inputs business.”
The 8% increase in shipped volumes year-on-year was notably caused by the release of goods carried through year-end 2016 by some platforms.
Profitability has been good in both the Value Chain and Merchandizing segments. Across the Value Chain platforms, with the exception of sugar, which is going through a challenging phase affecting the entire sector, and grains, which saw limited profits, most of the platforms performed well, helping to post operating results of US$352 million compared to US$351 million over the same period in 2016. Notably, the crushing and logistics of oilseeds showed good results. Similarly, healthy destination margins for rice and fertilizers & inputs were reported in the half year.
The Merchandizing segment booked US$250 million over the period, up from US$195 million the year before. Cotton delivered substantial and improved results compared to the first half of 2016, thanks to its strategy and increased global trade. Coffee also saw satisfactory origination margins and solid commercial activity.
Highlights for the six-month period ended June 30th, 2017:
LDC’s complete 2017 Interim Report is available at www.ldc.com.
1 Beginning of period – annualized – excluding perpetual hybrid capital securities
2 Gross margin plus share of income in associates and joint ventures
3 Volumes shipped to destination
4 Purchase of fixed assets and additional investments, net of cash acquired