March 25, 2019 / 9:32 AM / 3 months ago

Louis Dreyfus 2018 profits rise as trade war boosts its oilseed business

PARIS, March 25 (Reuters) - Agricultural commodity merchant Louis Dreyfus Company reported higher annual profits as it managed to capitalise on trading opportunities created by a U.S.-Chinese trade dispute, giving a boost to its oilseed business.

Group net profit reached $355 million in 2018, up 12 percent from a year ago, while segment operating results increased to $1.33 billion from $1.06 billion.

“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,” Chief Executive Ian McIntosh said in a statement.

LDC posted record soybean export volumes from Brazil as the South American country increased flows to China during the Asian country’s trade row with Washington, the company said.

The group’s full-year profit rise reversed a sharp fall in the first half and was in keeping with comments made by McIntosh in late September when he said that year-to-date results had “significantly improved”.

Improved margins offset a drop in sales linked to recent divestments, LDC added.

Group net sales fell to $36.5 billion from $38.0 billion in 2017, including an 8.8 percent decrease in volumes, it said.

LDC, often known as Dreyfus, is the ‘D’ of the so-called ‘ABCD’ quartet of global agricultural merchants alongside Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill that each handle tens of millions of tonnes of crops every year. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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