ARDEN HILLS, Minn., Feb. 23, 2012 -- Land O'Lakes Inc. reported 2011 net sales of $12.8 billion, a record, up from $11.1 billion in 2010. The sales, up 15%, were the result of record revenues in the company Dairy Foods, Feed and Crop Inputs businesses. Net earnings of $182 million were the second-highest in Land O'Lakes' history, up from 2010's $178 million.

The dairy cooperative ranks fifth on the latest Dairy 100, Dairy Foods’ annual ranking of dairy processors.

Chris Policinski, Land O'Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "Our 2011 results reflect strong performance in a challenging economy and volatile marketplace.

The Dairy Foods business reported record sales of $4.3 billion, up 17% from 2010.  Dairy Foods achieved pretax earnings of $28.1 million for the year, compared to $50.3 million in pretax earnings for 2010.  These results reflect the impact of an uncertain general economy and late-year volatility in dairy markets.  Dairy Foods 2011 results include a $6.5 million unrealized hedging loss (as of Dec. 31, 2011), while 2010 results included a $4.2 million unrealized hedging gain. 

While Dairy Foods volumes were mixed, with overall retail volume down 6 percent, margins were strong nearly across-the-board.  Notably, the company held its volume in its industry-leading branded butter and deli cheese product lines, and new, innovative products (like LAND O LAKES® spreadable tub butter and "Deli Health" cheese) performed well.  

The company's Dairy Foods Business-to-Business operations outperformed the industry, with Foodservice volumes up 8% and Ingredients volumes up 1%.  During the year, Land O'Lakes repositioned its global Dairy Powders business, shifting from selling dairy-based powders (through a marketing agency) as an unbranded commodity to the marketing of value-added, branded powder to key commercial customers.

Click on the Investors tab on the Land O’Lakes website to read the entire report and see financial charts.

SOURCE Land O'Lakes, Inc.