Chicago, IL—ADM has reported its fourth quarter results, and has affirmed its earnings growth expectation for 2021.

“I want to thank our team, which performed exceptionally well during truly unprecedented times to deliver four straight quarters of year-over-year adjusted segment operating profit growth in 2020, along with solid returns and record full-year adjusted EPS of $3.59,” said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano in the press release. “Around the globe, ADM colleagues demonstrated their resourcefulness, creativity and commitment by keeping our work environment safe from COVID-19, maintaining our operations and serving our customers. The team delivered on our strategic objectives, maintained a solid balance sheet, managed a wide variety of risks superbly, and showed the strength of our diversified and global value chain.”

Segment Results

Ag Services & Oilseeds set a Q4 record for adjusted operating profit, driven by export volumes out of North America. Global demand was high, particularly from China. Crushing delivered “substantially” higher results versus the prior-year period, the press release notes, explaining that the segment was driven by tight soybean supplies and strong global demand for meal and vegetable oils.

Carbohydrate Solutionssaw improvement over Q4 2019, too: Starches and Sweeteners achieved higher results due to lower net corn costs and intra-company insurance settlements. Vantage Corn Processors results were better versus the prior-year period, thanks to increased demand for USP-grade alcohol, although it was partially offset by costs from two temporarily idle mills.

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Nutritiondelivered 24% y-o-y operating profit growth. The Human Nutrition segment saw growth driven by good sales and product mix for the Flavor segment in North America and EMEAI. Plant proteins and probiotics also showed growth. In the Animal Nutrition segment, strong performances in Asia and EMEAI and improvement in amino acid sales drove growth.

Other Businessresults were “substantially” lower, due to lower ADM Investor Service earnings and Captive Insurance underwriting results.

“For ADM, based on the continued delivery of drivers under our control and improving market conditions as the year progresses, we expect strong growth in segment operating profit and another record year of EPS in 2021,” Luciano added. “I am extremely proud of our team’s performance: Our momentum is strong, and our future is bright.”