Crop merchant Louis Dreyfus posts jump in first-half profit

Group net profit reached $336mln, up 167% from $126mln a year earlier

  
Stock index price for France's CAC 40 and company stock price information are displayed on screens as they hang above the Paris stock exchange, operated by Euronext NV, in La Defense business district in Paris, France, December 14, 2016.

Stock index price for France's CAC 40 and company stock price information are displayed on screens as they hang above the Paris stock exchange, operated by Euronext NV, in La Defense business district in Paris, France, December 14, 2016.

Reuters/Benoit Tessier

PARIS - Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) reported on Tuesday a sharp rise in first-half profit, a further sign that climbing commodity prices and strong demand for staple crops are boosting earnings for international merchants.

Group net profit reached $336 million, up 167% from $126 million a year earlier, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 23% to $778 million. 

A surge in commodity prices and strong grain demand from China have supported earnings for agricultural merchants during the coronavirus pandemic, and helped LDC's profits to recover last year. 

Citing "a persistently volatile environment", Chief Executive Michael Gelchie said LDC's market knowledge, risk management and hedging strategies secured "solid results for the first half of the year."

LDC, known as Dreyfus, is the "D" of the "ABCD" quartet of renowned global agricultural commodity firms alongside Archer- Daniels-Midland Co , Bunge Ltd and Cargill Inc.

LDC earlier this month completed the sale of a 45% indirect stake to Abu Dhabi holding firm ADQ, marking the arrival of the first non-family shareholder in the agricultural commodity group's 170-year history.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Sudip Kar-Gupta Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter) ((gus.trompiz@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: gus.trompiz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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