Cargill has reported net earnings of $1.49 billion in the fiscal 2011 second quarter ended Nov. 30, compared with $489 million in the same period a year ago, according to a company news release. Excluding earnings from its majority investment in The Mosaic Company, Cargill earned $832 million, nearly double last year's $420 million.

In the first six months, Cargill earned $2.37 billion, up from $1.01 billion a year ago, the company reported. Excluding Mosaic, Cargill's first-half earnings were $1.53 billion, a 74 percent increase from $878 million a year ago.

Consolidated revenues in the second quarter rose 16 percent to $31.1 billion, bringing the total through the first half to $58.9 billion.

"Cargill generated strong results across the breadth of our businesses," said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. "The diversity and balance built into the mix provides the company with a great deal of resilience. By tapping the connectivity among our businesses, we also put more knowledge and insight to work on behalf of customers. Increasingly, they look to Cargill for innovation that supports their growth objectives."

Four of Cargill's five business segments posted increased earnings in the second quarter. Results were led by the origination and processing segment, which developed an early and accurate read on the first quarter's weather events and subsequent shifts in trade flows and supply-and-demand dynamics. This enabled the segment to serve import-dependent customers with grain rerouted from alternate origins while handling substantial volatility across agricultural commodity markets.

Second-quarter earnings also rose in agricultural services, aided by the bigger grain handling volumes made possible by the large North American harvest.

Results in food ingredients were mixed, with some units benefited by better volumes and gains from risk management activities and others pressured by higher raw material costs. On a combined basis, segment earnings increased moderately from the second quarter a year ago.

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Source: Cargill news release