Agribusiness group Archer Daniels Midland has recorded an increase in full-year profits, despite net earnings falling during the fourth quarter on the back of higher tax costs.

the company announced yesterday (2 August), that for the year ended 30 June, net income rose 5.4% to reach US$2bn. The company said it reported a “record” operating profit, up 24% to $4bn. Sales increased 30.7% to $80.6bn.

For the fourth quarter, however, net earnings fell 14.5% to $381m, which the company attributed to a higher income tax expense of $280m. It said the income tax cost was partially offset by higher segment operating profit of $89m and credits in LIFO inventory valuations caused by lower agricultural commodity prices at the end of the fourth quarter against the start of the quarter.

Nevertheless, operating profit rose 11.1% to reach $888m. Fourth-quarter sales were up 45.6% to reach $22.8bn.

ADM chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz said: “Despite a challenging environment in several key markets, ADM delivered solid operating results across all our businesses for the quarter. We earned record operating profit for the fiscal year with our growing global asset base, diversified product portfolio and the acumen of the ADM team.”

The company also announced plans to expand its grain origination, storage, transportation and export operations along the Danube River in Romania. The project includes 12 grain elevators along the Danube, one inland-storage elevator in western Romania and a joint-venture export elevator in the Black Sea port of Constanta.

The company’s shares were down 2.4% at the market’s close yesterday to $28.6 a share.