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Andersons profit for year rises to 2nd-highest

Maumee firm posts record for 4th quarter

The Andersons Inc., a Maumee firm known for its grain and ethanol businesses and its retail stores, said Tuesday it had its second-most profitable year in 2010 and a record fourth-quarter profit.

The firm reported a profit last year of $64.7 million, or $3.48 a share, up 68 percent from the $38.4 million, or $2.08 a share, the year before. It had sales of $3.4 billion in 2010, up 13 percent from $3 billion in 2009. For the fourth quarter alone, it had a profit of $25.8 million, or $1.39 a share, up 59 percent from $16.2 million, or 88 cents a share, for the same period a year earlier. It had quarterly sales of $1.2 billion, up 26 percent from $916 million a year earlier.

The Andersons posted a record $81.4 million operating profit in its core grain-and-ethanol group last year, up 58 percent from the year before despite just a 9 percent rise in the group's revenues to $2.4 billion. The firm's plant-nutrient group had a record profit in 2010 of $30.1 million, up 166 percent from the prior year, and its rail group and turf and specialty group showed improved profits.

The only part of the firm that lost money last year, it said, was its retail group, with an operating loss of $2.5 million, a slight improvement from 2009. Retail sales in 2010 were down 7 percent to $151 million.

Chief Executive Mike Anderson said the grain-and-plant nutrient group's gains "reflects our solid position in this industry," but the rail group struggles because of the economy.

The firm reported its earnings after the stock market closed; shares closed down 21 cents Tuesday at $40.65 a share.

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