Land O'Lakes, Inc., today reported strong first half net sales and earnings, with net sales of $6.9 billion and net earnings of $168 million. First half sales and earnings were up in all of the company's core businesses - dairy foods, layers, feed and crop inputs.
Land O'Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Policinski said in a prepared statement, "These very positive results were driven by a combination of factors, including improved agricultural markets, solid performance by our core branded and propriety products, and new products that have been very well-received by both consumers and our commercial customers."
Policinski also noted that Land O’Lakes is aggressively pursuing strategic initiatives focused on optimizing efficiency and better managing risk. "These initiatives are transforming Land O'Lakes into a stronger, more competitive organization, and contributed to our strong first-half performance," Policinski said.
Net sales, at $6.93 billion, were up 15 percent from $6.02 billion during the first six months of 2010.
First-half net earnings were $168.1 million, 75 percent ahead of the same period one year ago ($96.3 million).
Land O'Lakes maintained a strong balance sheet, with the company's long-term debt-to-capital ratio improving to 31 percent (versus 34 percent at the end of the first half of 2010), and total equity increasing by $130 million to $1.16 billion. Total debt (as of June 30, 2011) increased to $1.05 billion from $0.89 billion on the same date in 2010, due primarily to higher working capital needs related to increased pricing levels and business volume. As a result of the company's solid financial condition, as reported earlier Land O'Lakes was upgraded to investment grade status by Moody's Investors Service in May.
"Going forward, Land O'Lakes will remain focused on delivering solid business performance, leading innovation and maintaining a strong balance sheet - while pursuing strategic growth opportunities, including international expansion," Policinski added. "This will enable us to deliver increasing value to consumers, customers and our member-owners, while positioning Land O'Lakes for long-term growth in the food and agricultural business."