Land O Lakes ButterLand O'Lakes Inc., St. Paul, Minn., said today its 2012 sales were $14.1 billion (up 10.2% from 2011) and net earnings were $241 million (up 31%). Both are records. Additionally, three of the business segments achieved record sales, and the Crop Inputs segment had record earnings in addition to record sales.

"This consistent, positive performance is a direct result of the continuing implementation of strategies designed to build our value-added, branded businesses in Dairy Foods, Feed and Crop Inputs," said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes, Inc. "These are strong, growing segments of agribusiness."

The company said the Dairy Foods segment "achieved strong results in 2012 despite significant challenges in the first half of the year caused by unexpected and exceptional growth in milk supplies and volatile markets." Net sales were $4.2 billion, down 4% and pretax earnings increased 34% to $38 million.

Within the Dairy Foods portfolio, Retail Foods recorded exceptional performance including a number of new records. Record volumes were achieved by Superspreads, which include Land O Lakes tub butter products. Continuing innovation generated new product offerings during the year, including Butter With Olive Oil and Sea Salt and Unsalted Butter Half Sticks, a Land O'Lakes exclusive. Retail Cheese also had a strong year. Land O Lakes Deli cheese products moved into several of the nation's largest retail chains and innovation continued with the launch of a new 4 Cheese Italian Blend.

Land O Lakes 4 cheese Italian blend FSI blogThe Land O'Lakes strategy of growth also reshaped the portfolio mix of Dairy Foods in 2012. New growth initiatives included the launch of Saute Express Saute Starter, an on-trend, highly convenient product. Another significant growth development was the launch of Koru Creamery Style Yoghurt, a premium craft yogurt that is targeted at the highly valued younger consumer.

Dairy Foods also grew through significant new acquisitions in 2012, including that of Kozy Shack Enterprises, Inc., adding this leading brand of refrigerated desserts to its product offerings. Dairy Foods also benefited from its 50%t ownership in Eggland's Best, LLC, a newly formed joint venture with Eggland's Best, Inc. Eggland's Best, LLC provides new outlets for the Land O Lakes brand in the high growth category of specialty eggs.

Strong results were also achieved in the Business-to-Business segment of Dairy Foods, specifically Foodservice, which provides products to schools, full-service restaurants, and government organizations. The Industrial Foods business was negatively impacted by unexpected milk volume in the first half of the year plus commodity price impacts on cheese and whey. Despite these adverse market conditions, Land O'Lakes continued to expand its relationships with large, global customers.

Read the Land O'Lakes Annual Report and related financial data online, (Click on the Investors tab.)

SOURCE Land O'Lakes Inc.