LDC net profit up 12 pct

Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) net profit reached USD 355 million in 2018, up 12 pct from a year ago, while segment operating results increased to USD 1.33 billion from USD 1.06 billion, Reuters informs.

LDC said on Monday trading opportunities created by the U.S.-Chinese trade dispute boosted its soybean business last year, contributing to a sharp rise in group profit.

Improved margins offset a drop in sales which fell to USD 36.5 billion from USD 38.0 billion in 2017, including an 8.8 pct decrease in volumes, it said.

“Our results clearly demonstrate our capacity to rise to the challenge of managing differing trends among business platforms and the fallout of global trade tensions,” Ian McIntosh, LDC’s Chief Executive, said in a statement.

The higher profit helped push down its adjusted debt/EBITDA earnings ratio to 2.9 by end-2018, after it surged to 4.6 in the first half from 3.3 at the end of 2017.

The firm’s auditors, meanwhile, cited in the annual report a risk that a $165 million loan made by LDC to a joint venture to develop a grain terminal at Russia’s Taman port may not repaid, amid arbitration proceedings concerning the delayed project.

As previously reported, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, Chairperson of Louis Dreyfus Company Holdings B.V. (LDCH) announced that the Group’s majority shareholder had completed the buy-out of the minority shareholders who so desired. The transaction brings Akira’s stake in the Group to 96.2 pct.

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