Louis Dreyfus reports lower 2023 sales on falling commodity prices

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PARIS, March 21 (Reuters) - Global agricultural commodity group Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) on Thursday reported a 15.5% decline in 2023 sales due to a sharp drop in commodity prices amid geopolitical tensions and climate-related disruptions to trade flows.

LDC, one of the world's largest crop traders and processors whose competitors include ADM ADM.N, Bunge BG.N and Cargill, said 2023 sales fell to $50.6 billion from $59.9 billion in 2022.

Its 2023 EBITDA stood at $2.222 billion from $2.347 billion a year before, while its net income remained stable at 1.013 billion.

The group said it continued to invest in its ambitious growth plans in 2023, with capital expenditure up almost 16% year-on-year.

LDC had previously reported a drop in first-half earnings as agricultural markets settled down after acute volatility in 2022 at the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Rival Bunge said last month it expected lower earnings this year as ample crop supplies curb margins.

World food commodity prices are currently at three-year lows after a recovery in the supply of staples like cereals, supported by continuing exports from Russia and Ukraine during their conflict.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Writing by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Jan Harvey)

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