Profits from corn and oilseed processing were up in Q4, ADM said

Profits from corn and oilseed processing were up in Q4, ADM said

Archer Daniels Midland's failed bid to buy Australian agribusiness GrainCorp hit the US giant's fourth-quarter earnings but the company claimed "a strong finish" to 2013 with operating profit up.

Net earnings for the three months to the end of December, negatively impacted by charges related to GrainCorp and within its Brazilian sugar business, were US$374m, or $0.56 per share, down from $0.77 per share in the same period a year earlier.

However, ADM said that, excluding specified items, its segment operating profit was up 33% at $1bn. Earnings from ADM's corn and oilseeds processing businesses were up.

The higher operating profit came despite a 3.1% fall in net sales to $24.14bn.

"The team delivered a strong finish to the year," ADM chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz said. "Lower corn costs and improved ethanol margins helped support a significant improvement in our corn business. Our great oilseeds performance was driven by our ability to meet robust global demand for meal and by improved biodiesel results in North America and Europe."

For 2013 as a whole, net income stood at $1.34bn, down from $1.38bn in 2012. However, segment operating profit, adjusted for special items, was $2.95bn, compared to $2.87bn. Net sales fell 0.83% to $89.8bn.