Food and agribusiness company Bunge has reported lower sales for its second quarter ended 30 June 2005, but net income was higher.

Sales for the quarter fell to $5.872bn, from $6.657bn a year ago, while net income rose to $113m from $112m

For the half, sales fell to $11.323bn, compared with $12.396bn, while net income rose to $211m from $182m.

"We are pleased with our performance this quarter despite significant challenges, particularly when compared to last year's extraordinary results," said chairman and CEO Alberto Weisser. "Global conditions for our business remain good and our positive outlook is unchanged."

"Better than expected results in agribusiness and food products balanced weakness in our fertilizer business in Brazil," he said. "Our balanced portfolio and integrated business model allow us to capture value at various points along the farm-to-consumer chain, and provide a natural hedge against fluctuations in supply and demand."

"We continue to steadily execute our strategy," he said. "In Argentina, we began loading ships at our new port in Ramallo, north of Buenos Aires, and commenced crushing at our newly expanded T6 Industrial joint venture. With a capacity of 19,000 tons per day, this plant is currently the largest soybean crushing plant in the world, and is located in the heart of the lowest cost producing region in the world. We announced the purchase of a majority share in a soybean crushing and refining plant in the port of Rizhao, China. Rizhao is located in Shandong province, a large market for soybean meal and oil. Operating a plant in such a market enables Bunge to link directly to end customers. Supplying the facility from our global origination network improves supply chain efficiency and reliability."

"I am confident that because of good market fundamentals, our integrated and balanced business model, and the experience of our people, Bunge will continue to deliver superior results," he said.