Bunge raises full year outlook as Ardent Mills’ earnings rise sharply in Q2

US – Missouri-based oilseed processor Bunge has raised its fiscal-year outlook for a second time this year following an impressive first half that included a strong performance in Refined and Specialty Oils. 

The company reported six-month net sales of US$28.35 billion, a 52% jump from $18.64 billion achieved in the same time of the previous year. 

Over the first six months of the 2021 fiscal year, Bunge reported a net income of US$1.19 billion, or US$7.85 per share on the common stock, which more than tripled the net income of US$332 million achieved in the same time of the previous year. 

In the second quarter, net sales rose 50% to US$3.20 billion from US$2.13 billion. Volume however slipped 1.8% to 2.25 million tonnes from $2.29 million tonnes. 

The refined and Specialty Oils segment was the biggest driver of growth with net sales rising 50% to US$3.20 billion buoyed by higher margins and record capacity utilization in North America refining. 

The Milling segment also had a remarkable quarterly run with net sales rising 23% to US$471 million from US$382 million thanks to a 20% rise in volume sales, lower costs and supply chain execution in South America. 

Bunge reported Q2 net income however, declined by 30% to US$362 million from the US$516 million recorded in the previous year’s second quarter mainly due to a negative mark-to-market timing difference of 24¢ per share. 

The St. Louis-based company now expects earnings per share (EPS) of $8.50 for the fiscal year up from the US$6 that had been originally expected for the year and later increased it to US$7.50 in Q1 

“Despite the global volatility, we have confidence in our ability to deliver in the back half of the year, based on the business already committed, the crush outlook, and the demand for Refined and Specialty Oils,” said Gregory A.  Heckman, chief executive officer. 

Ardent Mills earnings rise sharply  

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Meanwhile, North America’s largest flour milling company has reported earnings after income taxes of US$169.6 million in the year ended May 30, up 17%, from $144.5 million in 2020.  

According to a security exchange filing by Ardent Mills’ parent company Conagra Brands, the flour miller’s earnings excluding a gain of US$4.1 million a year earlier, were up 21%.  

The company sales also rose 0.4% to US$3.4 billion thanks to what Conagra Brands referred to as favorable market conditions. 

During fiscal 2021 Conagra revealed that it took a non-cash income tax benefit of US$115.6 million associated with a restructuring of the company’s ownership interest in the Ardent Mills joint venture.  

Conagra said the restructuring “primarily relates to a release of a valuation allowance due to the generation of capital gains.” 

Earlier, ConAgra said it is cutting its fiscal 2022 outlook due to rising costs, which the food company will try to offset by boosting prices. 

ConAgra, whose brands include Duncan Hines, Slim Jim, and Birds Eye, now foresees fiscal 2022 adjusted earnings of about US$2.50 per share as opposed to its previously predicted earnings of US$2.63 to US$2.73 per share. 

The Chicago company said Tuesday that it expects consumer demand for its retail products will remain high compared with historical levels during fiscal 2022, as consumers have developed new habits during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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