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Land O’Lakes financial reports show solid sales and 12% earnings boost

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. -- Land O'Lakes, Inc. has announced second quarter and first half financial results that reflected solid sales growth accompanied by higher earnings compared to the same period last year.

Net sales were $3.9 billion for the second quarter, up 8% from $3.6 billion for the same quarter last year. Net sales for the first half of the year were $8.1 billion, up 8% from $7.5 billion for the first half of 2012. Net earnings for the second quarter were $76.9 million, up 63% from $47.2 million last year. First half net earnings totaled $148.5 million, up 12% from $132.1 million during the same period last year.

"We are pleased with our mid-year results, which were driven by our strategy of more aggressive investment in a variety of growth initiatives," said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes. Sales increases during the second quarter were achieved in all three core businesses, which include Dairy Foods, Crop Inputs (WinField) and Feed (Purina Animal Nutrition). First half sales were improved in all business segments, including Layers.

Earnings improvements year-on-year have been driven mainly by Dairy Foods, which had been negatively impacted in the first half of 2012 by an unexpected and exceptional growth in milk supplies and falling product prices. Recent company transactions also contributed significant earnings including the acquisition last year of Kozy Shack refrigerated desserts and the investment in Eggland's Best LLC, a branded premium egg joint venture.

Land O'Lakes' total debt as of June 30, 2013, was $1.66 billion, up $0.28 billion from the same date one year ago. The increase was primarily due to the July 2012 acquisition of Kozy Shack and increased working capital.