Farmer owned food and agriculture cooperative Land O'Lakes Inc has reported reduced sales for the second quarter ended 30 June 2005, although net earnings rose despite losses in the company's egg business.

Sales were $1.8bn and net earnings $25.8m for the second quarter, as compared to $2.0bn and $16.7mn for the second quarter of 2004.

The company also reported year-to-date sales of $3.9bn and net earnings of $50.1m, as compared to $4.0bn and $61.9m, respectively, one year ago.

Company officials reported strong performance in dairy foods, feed, seed and agronomy, driven primarily by its value-added, branded and proprietary businesses and product lines. They also indicated performance in these businesses was offset by depressed prices in the egg markets, which resulted in losses in that business.