Cargill’s adjusted earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2017 rose 80% to US$1.03 billion, compared with US$574 million in the corresponding period the previous year. For the first half ended November 30, 2016, earnings stood at US$1.86 billion, up 57% year-on-year.

Net earnings for the quarter on a U.S. GAAP basis were US$986 million, down 29% from US$1.39 billion a year ago, when Cargill realised large gains from business divestitures, which are excluded from adjusted operating earnings. First-half net earnings were down 3% to US$1.84 billion for the same reason. Revenues were US$26.9 billion and $US54 billion for the quarter and half, respectively, each down 1% from the prior year.

The Animal Nutrition & Protein segment was the largest contributor to adjusted operating earnings in the second quarter, delivering strong performance across its product lines. Thanksgiving holiday demand boosted whole-bird sales in the turkey business, while a more normalised cattle supply, optimised production, and healthy consumer demand contributed to a recovery in beef from last year’s low.

Cargill also celebrated the openings of new innovation centres in Plymouth, Minnesota; Colaco, Chile; and Shanghai, China. The company now operates about 25 innovation centres and technology application facilities around the world.

Also, Cargill and Calysta, a Menlo Park, California-based technology firm, announced plans to build a large gas fermentation facility in Memphis, Tennessee, to be operational in late 2018. It will use a proprietary process to make FeedKind protein, a family of sustainable feed ingredients for fish, livestock and pets.