US agribusiness Cargill has reported earnings of US$244m for the third quarter, a 52% increase compared to the year-ago period, helped by stronger results from its cocoa and juice businesses and proceeds fro litigation settlements.

“Cargill delivered solid results in often difficult circumstances during the third quarter,” Warren Staley, chairman and chief executive, was quoted by Dow Jones News Service as saying.

For the first nine months of fiscal 2003, Cargill’s net earnings were $1.15bn, up from $683 a year earlier.