WASHINGTON (DTN)--Cargill Inc. reported Aug. 13 its fourth-quarter earnings soared on strong performance across most of its businesses in the United States and internationally.

Cargill earned $144 million in the quarter ended May 31, compared with an $87 million loss in the final quarter of the previous fiscal year.

The privately owned company did not release other quarterly performance figures, as per its usual practice.

For the full fiscal year, Cargill reported net earnings of $827 million, in increase of 131% from $358 million in fiscal 2001.

"Cargill's earnings improvement was broad based, with two-thirds of our 90 business units delivering stronger results than a year ago," said Warren Staley, chairman and chief executive.

Staley said most of Cargill's food and meat businesses in Europe and North America performed well, including ingredients such as sweeteners, edible oils, malt and cocoa, and egg, pork and poultry products.

"Our animal nutrition business, which smoothly integrated last year's purchase of Agribrands International, expanded significantly," he said.

"Cargill's global network for processing and distributing oilseeds, grain, sugar, cotton and other commodities also performed well. Additional earnings strength came from our financial businesses," Staley said.

Although Cargill's beef processing business remained solid, it was not as good as last year because of weaker demand, he said.

Cargill, one of the world's largest privately owned companies, processes, sells and distributes agricultural, food, financial and industrial products. The company has about 97,000 employees in 59 countries.

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