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Global agribusiness giant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has announced a 44% increase in net profit in 2022.

The company reported a net profit of just over US$1bn last year compared to US$697M the previous year, LDC said on 22 March.

The company’s net sales were US$59.9bn for 2022 (up from US$49.6bn in 2021), while segment operating results stood at US$2.61bn for the year (up from US$1.83bn).

LDC said its increase in earnings was achieved during a year in which two of the world’s leading grain exporters – Russia and Ukraine – were at war, climate change impacted several key crop production areas, and inflation hit the global economy.

“Despite new and unprecedented challenges and disruptions, LDC further diversified its geographic and commercial portfolio in an effort to preserve global access to essential products,” Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of the supervisory board, said.

“In this extremely complex environment, collaboration across value chains is more essential than ever to find shared solutions to common challenges.”

In 2022, LDC said it had continued to invest in core merchandising operations, expand downstream and diversify revenue streams.

Major developments last year included the expansion of the company’s grains & oilseeds origination network with the acquisition of a leading grain business in Australia; the construction of a joint venture food industrial park in China, a new lecithin plant in Indiana, USA and a new R&D facility in California as the foundation of its new plant proteins business; the launching of new juice and cooking oil products; and investment in start-ups, LDC said.

Looking ahead, LDC CEO Michael Gelchie said the company would continue to adapt to consumption trends towards alternative proteins and healthier diet options, digitalisation and innovation in agriculture and food production.