During the same period last year, the company reported net sales of $7.3bn and net earnings of $118m. For the second quarter ending June 30, 2021, the company reported net sales of $4bn and net earnings of $100m, a 14% year-over-year net sales increase and 22% increase in net earnings.
Net sales growth reflects strength in crop inputs and animal nutrition and higher pricing across the portfolio to offset rising input and supply chain costs. The company said net sales accelerated in the second quarter as farmers invested in their crops and animals. The company continued to leverage its differentiated brands and reported stronger performance across all business units on a year-to-date basis.
"We are pleased we've been able to maintain the strength and accelerate the momentum of last year's performance. Despite increasing costs, the fundamentals of our industry remain favorable and our differentiated approach has delivered sustained performance in all business segments through the first half of the year," said Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes, Inc.
"We also recognize third quarter could be our toughest year-over-year comparison in our historically smallest quarter, as during 2020, COVID-19 drove above normal retail purchasing. I'm proud of the team that continues to lead strong performance, both in sales and in voice, as we advocate for and deliver for our member owners."
Earnings for the quarter were driven by strong performance in crop inputs with higher volumes and favorable product mix in crop protection and improved margins in crop nutrients. Dairy Foods earnings were below the elevated levels experienced in the second quarter of 2020, as consumers increased retail purchases at the start of the pandemic, but overall performance in retail dairy remained solid.
Dairy also benefited from strong performance in foodservice as restaurants and other institutions continued to reopen across the country. Animal nutrition earnings were lower for the quarter due to higher input costs, which offset higher formula feed volumes and a favorable mix shift toward the lifestyle segment.