•  Land O'Lakes back in the black as earnings rise
  •  Sales gain on value-added, marketing focus
  •  Well-positioned for "solid" Q4
Land OLakes focusing on brand building, product launches

Land O'Lakes focusing on brand building, product launches

US co-op Land O'Lakes has booked a "strong" set of third-quarter numbers, with sales and earnings boosted by the implementation of the company's growth strategy.

Land O'Lakes said net earnings increased to US$18m in the period, up from a loss of $30m last year. Net sales rose to $3bn, up from $2.7bn in the comparable period of 2011.

CEO Chris Policinski attributed the "strong" quarter to the company's strategic initiaties, including a greater focus on developing value-added products in its dairy business and a drive to improve margins.

Policinski said the company is well-positioned for a solid year-end performance in 2012 as it moves through the fourth quarter when results are historically strong from the holiday season.

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Land O'Lakes Reports Third Quarter and Year-To-Date Financial Results
Quarterly Sales Increase to $3 billion; Earnings are $18 million
Sales and Earnings For Both Third Quarter and Year-To-Date Surpass Prior Year

ARDEN HILLS, Minn., Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Land O'Lakes, Inc. today reported third quarter results showing strong sales and increased earnings that surpassed prior year results for both the quarter and year-to-date.

Net sales were $3 billion for the third quarter, up from $2.7 billion for the same quarter last year, while net earnings increased sharply to $18 million compared with a loss of $30 million for the same quarter in 2011. Year-to-date sales were $10.4 billion compared with $9.7 billion during the same period last year while year-to-date net earnings totaled $150 million compared with $138 million in 2011.

"We are pleased to report a strong third quarter, driven by significantly improved results in Dairy Foods and sharply higher earnings in our Feed operations, Purina Animal Nutrition," said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes. "Year-to-date performance has also been bolstered by strong sales and earnings in our Crop Inputs business, WinField, which is on track for a record year," he added.
Policinski noted that the overall favorable results are attributable to continuing implementation of the company's strategy including:

Growth through acquisitions, brand building and innovation. Building strong, valued relationships with customers and cooperative members "Total Margin Management," an enterprise-wide focus on growing revenues, reducing costs, improving efficiencies and streamlining processes. Policinski said the company is well-positioned for a solid year-end performance in 2012 as it moves through the fourth quarter when results are historically strong from the holiday season.

Land O'Lakes' total debt as of September 30, 2012, was $1.83 billion, up $0.43 billion from the same date one year ago. The increase was primarily due to several acquisitions which are now generating additional cash flow.

Land O'Lakes' third quarter financial results can be found at www.landolakesinc.com. Click on "Investors" and "Quarterly Financial Statements."

Land O'Lakes, Inc. ( www.landolakesinc.com ) is a national, farmer-owned food and agricultural cooperative with annual sales of nearly $13 billion. The nation's second-largest cooperative and number 210 on the Fortune 500, Land O'Lakes does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. It is a leading marketer of a full line of dairy-based consumer, foodservice and food ingredient products across the United States; serves its international customers with a variety of food and animal feed ingredients; and provides farmers and ranchers with an extensive line of agricultural supplies (feed, seed, and crop protection products and services) under the operations of WinField and Purina Animal Nutrition. Land O'Lakes also provides agricultural assistance and technical training in more than 25 developing nations.

Original source: Land O'Lakes