US – 2020 was not an easy year for many food companies and global food ingredients manufacturer Ingredient was not an exception.

The Westchester, Illinois based company reported full year profits of US$349 million, a 16% decline from the company’s performance a year ago.

Sales during the year were severely battered by disruptions in food processing operations, ending 4% lower than the sales of 2019.

Although overall profits was down, the company’s fourth-quarter net income rose 6% to US$115 million, equal to US$1.71 per share while sales rose 3% to US$1.59 billion.

Jim Zallie, Ingredion’s president and chief executive officer attributed the fourth quarter performance to volume demand recovery in three of its four major business regions and an exceptional performance in South America.

Zallie further noted that Specialty ingredients net sales, excluding foreign exchange impacts, grew in all four regions for the quarter and full year, and now represents 32 percent of the company’s annual sales.

During the fourth quarter, Ingredion completed the acquisition of 100% ownership of Verdient Foods, Inc.

The company further mobilized the integration team, and advanced construction on its Specialty plant-based protein production line.

Additionally, the company earned recommended food grade certification status for its South Sioux City pea protein isolate facility.

“As we enter 2021 with increasing momentum, we are well-positioned to continue advancing our growth strategy and deliver value at every touchpoint of the customer experience,” Zallie added.

“We remain committed to our mission to be a reliable and trusted supplier, as well as innovation partner to our customers.”

For the first quarter of 2021, the Company anticipates total net sales to be slightly up and operating income to be modestly up depending on the impact of COVID-19 resurgence trends, as well as the pace and effectiveness of vaccines.

For the full year, the Company anticipates net sales and region operating income to be modestly up, driven by specialty ingredients growth, other volume recovery and Cost Smart savings.

Earlier, Ingredion was named one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine for the 12th time in a row.

In a statement, Ingredion noted that the achievement underscores its longstanding reputation as a purpose and values-driven employer, a preferred global supplier, and a responsible corporate citizen in the communities in which it operates.

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