Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the US-based agribusiness giant, said it remains financially strong despite posting a drop in full-year net earnings today (4 August).

Net income for the year ended 30 June dropped to US$1.7bn from $1.8bn in the previous year.

“In this downturn, we used our strong balance sheet and cash flow to make strategic investments to build long-term value,” said chairman of the board and CEO Patricia Woertz.

“As we look ahead, we see signs of improving demand in the various food, feed and fuel markets we serve. We remain financially strong and well positioned to capture value as global markets recover.”

Net sales decreased to $69.2bn from $69.8bn in 2008. Operating profit also dropped, from $3.4bn in 2008 to $2.5bn in fiscal 2009.

Segment operating profit decreased $988m for the year.

Oilseeds processing operating profit decreased as global demand weakened, ADM said. Corn processing operating profit fell due to the effects of higher net corn costs and a weak ethanol environment.