UPDATE 2-Bunge quarterly adjusted profit nearly doubles, lifts outlook

(Adds segment results, background)

Oct 28 (Reuters) - Agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd reported a 91% rise in adjusted quarterly profit on Wednesday as strong soy processing margins and robust demand for animal feed and vegetable oils boosted earnings in its core agribusiness segment.

Bunge raised full-year profit guidance for a second straight quarter, projecting 2020 profit of $6.25 to $6.75 per share. The company cited better-than-anticipated agribusiness results and a more favorable outlook for its edible oils unit despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Looking into next year, we expect many of the favorable trends to continue with demand for our products remaining strong. We also expect additional global demand for vegetable oil from the growth of biofuels," said Chief Executive Greg Heckman.

Grain traders like Bunge and rivals Archer Daniels Midland , Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, known as the ABCDs of grain, have faced headwinds from the pandemic as shuttered restaurants and reduced travel disrupted demand for food and fuel. Infection rates are rising again globally, triggering fresh lockdowns and other restrictions.

But they have weathered the crisis better than other industries, and Bunge said its facilities continued to operate at or near normal levels.

Agribusiness earnings more than doubled to $467 million as robust margins in South America, Europe and Asia more than offset weaker U.S. results. Active grain sales by South American farmers amid rising prices also boosted results for the unit, Bunge's largest.

Edible oils performed better than expected, although results were down year-on-year.

Net attributable income to Bunge was $262 million, or $1.84 per share, for the third-quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $1.49 billion, or $10.57 per share, a year earlier when Bunge took charges totaling about $1.7 billion.

On an adjusted basis, Bunge posted a profit of $2.47 per share, up from $1.28 per share a year earlier.

Net sales fell 1.6% to $10.16 billion. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago and Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Nick Zieminski)

10/28/2020 12:20

News, Photo and Web Search