Oilseed giant Bunge reaped a strong second quarter with net income more than tripling to $182 million (€158m), up from $50 million in 2002.
The results were boosted by a gain of $111 million from the sale of its Brazilian soy ingredients unit to newly formed soy company Solae, Bunge's joint venture with DuPont.
Excluding the gain on the Brazil sale, income rose 42 per cent to $71 million, or 71 cents a share. The company stood by its earnings outlook for the third quarter of $90 million to $95 million, or 90 cents to 95 cents per share.
Bunge reported that income from the food products division significantly improved - up 106 per cent, or $18 million, to $35 million, with edible oil products in particular benefitting from the Cereol acquisition.
Sales volumes for the division rose by a considerable 29 per cent, and gross profit increased 84 per cent, or $43 million, from the same period last year.
On 3 July 2003, Bunge completed the sale of the Lesieur bottled oil business in France to Saipol, Bunge's existing joint venture with Sofiproteol (the financial arm of the French oilseed farmer's association). Bunge received €186.3 million in cash and repayment of Lesieur intercompany debt owed to Cereol at closing. Bunge used the net cash proceeds from the transaction to reduce outstanding indebtedness.
Bunge said sales volume in its agribusiness unit rose 21 per cent in the second quarter, but income from operations fell 97 per cent, or $150 million, to $5 million due largely to the appreciation of the currencies in Brazil and Argentina.