Farmland takes a $189 million loss

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 18, 2002

Bankrupt Farmland’s financial report for its third fiscal quarter, ending May 31, indicates the company suffered an unprecedented $189.5 million loss.

Operating income dropped to a $91 million deficit from a $35.9 million surplus in the same period last year. The decline is distinct even compared with the $32.3 million loss in the first two quarters, during which the company had already been struggling financially, before its bankruptcy filing.

President/CEO Bob Terry attributed the poor performance to the lower price of nitrogen fertilizer and decreased production of petroleum due to maintenance at the main refinery in Coffeyville, Kan.

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The other half of the loss was as a result of costs associated with the company’s restructuring and discontinued operations as it tries to reshape itself into a profitable enterprise.

The company explained the loss reflected the shutdown of two fertilizer plants, the closure of international trading operations and the recognition of deferred finance costs for the company’s pre-filing financing.

The refrigerated foods division, which showed a $33.5 million profit in the first two quarters, plunged to a $4 million deficit this quarter. But, Terry emphasized that the year-to-date earnings still significantly outperform figures in the last year. The refrigerated foods division is the one that would include a new Albert Lea plant, if the company builds one.

After the May 31 bankruptcy, the company has repeatedly expressed that refrigerated foods would be a vehicle for Farmland to reorganize itself and the segment would not be subject to contraction as part of the restructuring efforts.