Land O’Lakes Inc. reported quarterly net sales of $3.9 billion and net earnings of $115.7 million in the first quarter ending March 31, 2018, compared with 2017 first quarter net sales of $3.7 billion and net earnings of $109.9 million. These strong first quarter earnings come on the heels of a record full year net earnings of $364.8 million in 2017, and net sales $13.7 billion.
Our 2018 first quarter performance continues to build on our strong performance of 2017 despite a difficult operating environment across the segments in which we compete,” said Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski. “By investing in growth and sharpening our focus on both the near- and long-term future, our enterprise is well-positioned to deliver another strong year for our member-owners. Our growth reflects our members’ growth and our profitability provides a direct investment back to our members’ agricultural communities during a critical time for American agriculture.”
First quarter earnings benefited from strong performance in the company’s Animal Nutrition segment driven by higher vitamin markets due to an industry supply disruption. Lower earnings in Crop Inputs were driven by product mix, competitive pricing discounts, and lower seed sales due to later spring planting. Dairy Foods delivered higher volume sales in its retail and ingredients businesses while overall earnings remained flat due to commodity market impacts. The company’s Crop Nutrient business, which was added in October 2017 contributed an incremental $3 million to first quarter earnings.