Agriculture company, Archer Daniels Midland ADM 4.16%increase; placed its chief financial officer, Vikram Luthar, on administrative leave as it investigates accounting practices at the company. The Chicago grain merchant and commodity trader said that the continuing investigation centers around ADM’s nutrition business and that it follows a voluntary document request by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ismael Roig will serve as interim CFO, the company said.
ADM has spent billions of dollars over the past decade trying to expand its nutrition business, which designs and sells ingredients for products such as protein drinks, plant-based meat alternatives and animal feed. Its efforts have included acquiring European ingredient companies and makers of pet food and livestock feed.
Profits for the business have lagged behind analysts’ expectations in recent quarters, partly because of a decline in demand for plant-based food products. ADM has said that growing the nutrition unit would help make its business less susceptible to commodity price swings in its sprawling grain trading business.
ADM reported more than $101 billion in revenue in 2022, and roughly $8 billion of that came from its nutrition segment. In its latest quarter, the company’s nutrition business generated an operating profit of $138 million, down from $177 million the prior year.