Cargill Inc.’s annual profit nearly halved in its latest fiscal year amid rising costs, a declining meat business and lower agricultural prices from a fading commodities boom.
The largest privately held US company reported net income of $3.81 billion for the year ended May 31, down from a record $6.69 billion in the prior period, according to documents seen by Bloomberg Opinion columnist Javier Blas. Profit was affected by a decline in Cargill’s beef business, hurt by the tightest US cattle supplies since 2014, and a chicken glut that eroded earnings. Even with the 43% profit drop, it was still the fourth-best year for the crop trader.
Cargill’s annual revenue rose 7.1% to a record $176.7 billion, the documents show. Yet, a 61% jump in interest expenses along with higher restructuring costs, depreciation and other expenses eroded earnings. The higher costs came just as pandemic restrictions were easing and crop prices stabilized following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.