ADM Chocolate

True to its plan, which was announced in April, Decatur, Ill.-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) confirmed that it will sell its chocolate business, most likely by the end of the third quarter, Reuters reported.

Yesterday, during a conference call with analysts discussing the company’s second quarter results, ADM President Juan Luciano said the company expected to have a “signed agreement by the end of the third quarter to sell our global chocolate business.”

The company has six chocolate facilities located in North America and Europe: Hazleton, Pa.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Georgetown, Ontario, Canada; Liverpool, UK; Manage, Belgium; and Mannheim, Germany.

It will keep its cocoa press business, which represents two-thirds of the company’s cocoa and chocolate segment.

Separately, ADM’s second quarter adjusted earnings per share reached $0.77, up from $0.46 in the same period last year. Its adjusted segment operating profit was $819 million, up 32 percent from $621 million in the year-ago period. Net earnings for the quarter were $533 million, or $0.81 per share, and the segment operating profit was $888 million.

 “In the second quarter, the ADM team continued to execute very well and delivered strong results,” affirmed ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. “We capitalized on robust ethanol demand, a recovery of U.S. grain export volumes and continuing strong demand for oilseeds products.”

In its breakdown of oilseeds earnings, the company revealed that cocoa and other earned $20 million in the quarter, up $37 million from the year-ago period, “reflecting the improved margin environment in the cocoa business."