USA – Bunge, one of the world’s largest agricultural commodities suppliers has announced that its first-quarter earnings fell short of last year’s record results to register US$632 million, down 8.2% from US$688 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, World Grain has reported.

According to the company, the results were dragged down partly by sluggish oilseed processing results in Argentina, Asia, and Europe, which more than offset strong crush margins in North America and Brazil.

The results reflect the first quarter ended March 31. During this period, the decline reflected equal to $4.15 per share on the common stock down from US$4.48 per share in 2022 while sales totaled US$15.33 billion, down 3.5% from US$15.88 billion a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, earnings per share were US$3.26 in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, down from US$4.26 in the same period a year ago.

However, Bunge reaffirmed its full-year adjusted EPS of at least US$11, reflecting “first-quarter results and the current margin environment and forward curves.”

In addition, Bunge reports that its shares dipped as low as US$90.04, down 1.3% from the previous day’s close of US$91.15 and down 5.5% from the open on May 3.

According to the financials, agribusiness performed well, though results were down from last year’s particularly strong performance.

The report highlighted that segment EBIT within Agribusiness totaled US$705 million, up narrowly from US$699 million in the same period a year ago.

Adjusted segment EBIT, though, was US$512 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, down more than 18% from $627 million in the same period a year ago. Sales decreased 3.4% to US$10.85 billion from US$11.23 billion, while volumes fell to 18.39 million tonnes from 20.07 million tonnes a year ago.

“Agribusiness started the year off well.” However, results were down from last year’s, particularly strong performance, said John W. Neppl, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

On refined and specialty oils, Bunge reports that results were higher in all regions reflecting favorable demand trends and effective management of supply chains.

EBIT was US$233 million, up 35% from US$173 million a year ago. Adjusted segment EBIT, meanwhile, was $234 million, up from $180 million a year ago. Sales were US$3.89 billion, down 2.3% from US$3.98 billion, while volumes were 2.15 million tonnes, down from 2.3 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, the milling segment EBIT totaled US$9 million, down sharply from $50 million a year ago. Adjusted segment EBIT was US$10 million, down from US$51 million. Sales also were lower, falling to US$515 million from US$603 million. Volume decreased to 821,000 tonnes from 1.16 million tonnes.

Looking ahead to the rest of fiscal 2023, Neppl said full-year results in Agribusiness are forecast to be down from last year with slightly higher results in Processing.

In addition, full-year results in Refined and Specialty Oils are expected to be up from Bunge’s prior forecast but still below last year’s record performance. Milling, meanwhile, is forecast to be down in the full year, reflecting a more challenging than expected first quarter.

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