Land O’Lakes sees record sales in 2021, earnings up 10.9%

The company’s Animal Nutrition unit overall earnings were below prior-year levels, due to higher supply chain costs and higher ingredient costs.

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Company says it saw strong performance across all units, but earnings for Animal Nutrition were down from the prior year

Land O’Lakes Inc. on March 1 reported record sales of US$16 billion and net earnings of US$295 million for the year ending December 31, 2021, compared with net sales of US$14 billion and net earnings of US$266 million in 2020.

The company said its strong results were due in part to its strong supply positions and performance across all business units.

“Land O’Lakes 2021 performance was most directly the result of the incredible work and resilience of our teams,” said Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes. “We move into our next 100 years with confidence for the future, our business positioned for the long-term, continuing to serve our members and advocate for their communities.”

The company’s Animal Nutrition unit continued to grow the company’s feed volumes, but overall earnings were below prior-year levels, due to higher supply chain costs and higher ingredient costs.

Crop Inputs saw significant volume increases as farmers leveraged insights from Land O’Lakes’ ag tech platforms and invested in their crops given improved commodity market pricing driven by short supply globally. Crop Inputs also benefited from improved product mix in Crop Protection and higher margins in Crop Nutrients. At the same time, the business realized supply chain efficiencies from strategic actions including location consolidations and structured deliveries that provided offsets to increased transportation and handling costs.

Dairy Foods retail volumes remained elevated from pre-pandemic levels and Foodservice volumes saw a strong recovery as the economy re-opened in 2021. Dairy earnings were below prior-year levels due to higher supply chain costs, partially offset by improved margins on cheese and nonfat dry milk.

Settlement on retirement plan class action

Meanwhile, on February 28, Land O’Lakes signed a US$1.8 million settlement agreement to resolve a proposed class action challenging fees related to its 401(k) employee retirement plan, according to reports.

The settlement is expected to benefit 11,000 participants in the retirement plan, and represents about 20% of the maximum estimated damages of US$9 million. It also requires Land O’Lakes to seek proposals for a new plan record keeper within three years.

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