Land O’Lakes, Inc. Reports Improved Sales And Lower Earnings In Second Quarter And First Half

Land O’Lakes, Inc. reported continued strong sales across its business portfolio, with net sales up for both the second quarter and the first half of the year.

Net sales were $3.6 billion for the second quarter, up from $3.5 billion for the same quarter last year. Net sales for the first half of the year (through June) were $7.5 billion, up 8 percent from $6.9 billion for the first half of 2011. In the company’s core businesses, first half sales were up 11 percent in feed, 15 percent in crop inputs and 17 percent in layers, while dairy foods sales were down 7 percent, primarily because of market conditions.

Lower quarterly and first half earnings were attributable to the overall economic environment, declining markets and excess milk supplies which impacted the company’s dairy foods business. These factors were partially offset by exceptionally strong earnings in the company’s crop inputs business, WinField Solutions, which benefited from the early Spring and favorable early growing conditions.

For the second quarter, Land O’Lakes reported earnings of $47.3 million compared with $67.1 million for the same period in 2011. Year-to-date net earnings (through June) were $131.9 million, compared with earnings of $168.1 million during the first half of 2011.

“At the mid-point of the year, we are pleased to report solid sales, with particularly strong results in core branded and proprietary product lines,” said Land O’Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Policinski in a prepared statement. “We are continuing to successfully introduce innovative new products and build our brands with new revenue generating strategies,” he added.

“Earnings across business units are mixed as we face continuing challenges from the struggling national economy and volatile markets,” Policinski added. “We are addressing these challenges by focusing on growing revenues, reducing costs, improving efficiencies and streamlining processes as part of our company-wide initiative called Total Margin Management.”