UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
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Information required by Part III (Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14) of this document is incorporated by reference to certain portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement to be distributed in connection with its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
For purposes of this report, unless the context otherwise requires, all references herein to the “Company,” “Ingredion,” “we,” “us,” and “our” shall mean Ingredion Incorporated and its consolidated subsidiaries.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Ingredion Incorporated (“Ingredion”) is a leading global ingredients solutions provider. We turn corn, tapioca, potatoes, plant-based stevia, grains, fruits, and vegetables into value-added ingredients and biomaterials for the food, beverage, brewing and other industries. Ingredion’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “INGR.”
We are principally engaged in the production and sale of starches and sweeteners for a wide range of industries, and are managed geographically on a regional basis. Our operations are classified into four reportable business segments: North America, South America, Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (“EMEA”). Our North America segment includes businesses in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Our South America segment includes businesses in Brazil, the Southern Cone of South America (which includes Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Uruguay), Colombia, and Ecuador. Our Asia-Pacific segment includes businesses in South Korea, Thailand, China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, and Vietnam. Our EMEA segment includes businesses in Pakistan, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Africa.
We supply a broad range of customers in many diverse industries around the world, including the food, beverage, brewing and other industries, as well as the global animal feed markets.
Our product lines include starches and sweeteners, animal feed products and edible corn oil. Our starch-based products include both food-grade and industrial starches, and biomaterials. Our sweetener products include glucose syrups, high maltose syrups, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, dextrose, polyols, maltodextrins, and glucose and syrup solids. Our products are derived primarily from the processing of corn and other starch-based materials, such as tapioca, potato, and rice.
We continue to expand our product portfolio through capital investments and acquisitions. We are making investments through our plant-based protein product lines, including pulse-based concentrates, flours and isolates. Capital investment commitments for 2021 are anticipated to be between $330 million and $350 million.
On July 1, 2020, we completed our acquisition of 75% ownership of PureCircle Limited (“PureCircle”), the remaining 25% of which is owned by former PureCircle shareholders. PureCircle is one of the leading producers and innovators of plant-based stevia sweeteners and flavors for the food and beverage industry. The acquisition brought global innovation and manufacturing expertise, which we are leveraging with our global go-to-market model, formulation capabilities and broad ingredient portfolio. PureCircle is consolidated by Ingredion for financial reporting purposes.
On November 3, 2020, we acquired the remaining 80% of the outstanding shares of Verdient Foods, Inc (“Verdient”). We had previously acquired a 20% equity method investment in Verdient in 2018. Verdient is a Canada-based producer of pulse-based protein concentrates and flours from peas, lentils, and fava beans for human food applications.
Our manufacturing process is based on a capital-intensive, two-step process that involves the wet-milling and processing of starch-based materials, primarily corn. During the front-end process, the starch-based materials are steeped in a water-based solution and separated into starch and co-products such as animal feed and corn oil. The starch is then either dried for sale or further processed to make starches, sweeteners and other ingredients that serve the particular needs of various industries.
We believe our approach to production and service, which focuses on local management and production improvements of our worldwide operations, provides us with a unique understanding of the cultures and product requirements in each of the geographic markets in which we operate, bringing added value to our customers through innovative solutions. At the same time, we believe that our corporate functions allow us to identify synergies and maximize the benefits of our global presence.
Geographic Scope and Operations
Our North America segment consists of operations in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The region’s facilities include 22 manufacturing facilities producing a wide range of starches, sweeteners, gum acacia, peas, and fruit and vegetable concentrates. We have focused our recent investment on expanding plant-based protein product lines, including pulse-based concentrates, flours and isolates.
Our South America segment includes operations in Brazil, Colombia, the Southern Cone of South America, Peru, and Ecuador. The segment includes nine manufacturing facilities that produce regular, modified, waxy, and tapioca starches, high fructose and high maltose syrups and syrup solids, dextrins and maltodextrins, dextrose, specialty starches, caramel color, sorbitol, and vegetable adhesives.
Our Asia-Pacific segment manufactures corn-based products in South Korea, China, and Thailand. We also manufacture tapioca-based and rice-based products in Thailand and plant-based stevia sweetener products in Malaysia and China. We supply tapioca, rice and plant-based stevia sweetener products not only to our Asia-Pacific segment, but the rest of our global network. The region’s facilities include ten manufacturing facilities that produce modified, specialty, regular, waxy, tapioca and rice starches, dextrins, glucose, high maltose syrup, plant-based stevia sweeteners and flour, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, and caramel color.
Our EMEA segment includes five manufacturing facilities that produce modified and specialty starches, glucose and dextrose in Pakistan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Additionally, we utilize a network of tolling manufacturers in various regions in the production cycle of certain specialty starches. In general, these tolling manufacturers produce certain basic starches for us, and we in turn complete the manufacturing process of starches through our finishing channels.
We utilize our global network of manufacturing facilities to support key global product lines.
Our portfolio of products is generally classified into the following categories: Starch Products, Sweetener Products, and Co-products and others. Within these categories, a portion of our products are considered specialty ingredients. We refer to the remainder as core products. We describe these three general product categories in more detail below, along with a broader discussion of specialty ingredients within the product portfolio.
Starch Products: Our starch products represented approximately 46 percent of our net sales for each of 2020, 2019 and 2018. Starches are an important component in a wide range of processed foods, where they are used for adhesion, clouding, dusting, expansion, fat replacement, freshness, gelling, glazing, mouthfeel, stabilization, and texture. Cornstarch is sold to cornstarch packers for sale to consumers. Starches are also used in paper production to create a smooth surface for printed communications and to improve strength in recycled papers. Specialty starches are used for enhanced drainage, fiber retention, oil and grease resistance, improved printability, and biochemical oxygen demand control. The textile industry uses starches and specialty starches for sizing (abrasion resistance) to provide size and finishes for manufactured products. Industrial starches are used in the production of construction materials, textiles, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, as well as in mining, water filtration, and oil and gas drilling. Specialty starches are used for biomaterial applications including biodegradable plastics, fabric softeners and detergents, hair and skin care applications, dusting powders for surgical gloves, and in the production of glass fiber and insulation.
Sweetener Products: Our sweetener products represented approximately 35 percent, 36 percent, and 36 percent of our net sales for 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Sweeteners include products such as glucose syrups, high maltose syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, polyols, maltodextrin, glucose syrup solids, and non-GMO (genetically modified organism) syrups. Our sweeteners are used in a wide variety of food and beverage products, such as baked goods, snack foods, canned fruits, condiments, candy and other sweets, dairy products, ice cream, jams and jellies, prepared mixes, table syrups, soft drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, beer, and many others. These sweetener products also offer functionality in addition to sweetness, such as texture, body and viscosity; help control freezing points, crystallization, and browning; add humectancy (ability to add moisture) and flavor; and act as binders. Our high maltose syrups speed the fermentation process, allowing brewers to increase capacity without adding capital. Dextrose has a wide range of applications in the food and confection industries, in solutions for intravenous (“IV”) and other pharmaceutical applications, and numerous industrial applications like wallboard, biodegradable surface agents, and moisture control agents. Our specialty sweeteners provide affordable, natural, reduced calorie and sugar-free solutions for our customers.
Co-products and others: Co-products and others accounted for approximately 19 percent, 18 percent, and 18 percent of our net sales for 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Refined corn oil (from germ) is sold to packers of cooking oil and to producers of margarine, salad dressings, shortening, mayonnaise, and other foods. Corn gluten feed is sold as animal feed. Corn gluten meal is sold as high-protein feed for chickens, pet food, and aquaculture. Our other products include fruit and vegetable products, such as concentrates, purees, and essences, as well as pulse proteins and hydrocolloids systems and blends.
Specialty Ingredients within the product portfolio: We consider certain of our products to be specialty ingredients. Specialty ingredients accounted for approximately 32 percent of our net sales for 2020, up from 30 percent and 29 percent in 2019 and 2018, respectively. These ingredients deliver more functionality than our other products and add additional customer value. Our specialty ingredients are aligned with growing market and consumer trends such as health and wellness, clean-label, simple ingredients, affordability, indulgence, and sustainability.
We drive growth for our specialty ingredients portfolio by leveraging the following five growth platforms: Starch-based Texturizers, Clean and Simple Ingredients, Sugar Reduction and Specialty Sweeteners, Food Systems, and Plant-based Proteins.
Starch-based Texturizers: These ingredients support the structure and texture behind great eating experiences. Products are made from corn, potato, rice, and tapioca and offer a multitude of textures, functionalities, and stability during processing and shelf life to a broad range of food products.
Clean and Simple Ingredients: These functional ingredients address the clean label trend for finished products made with shorter lists of food ingredients that have achieved broad consumer acceptance. From food and beverages to pet food and personal care, consumers are looking for clean, simple, natural, and authentic products that they can identify and trust. The broad portfolio of clean label ingredients includes: starches, sweeteners, flours, nutrition ingredients, emulsifiers and fruit and vegetable concentrates.
Sugar Reduction and Specialty Sweeteners: These solutions provide sweetness and functional replacement for sugar in reduced-calorie and sugar-free foods and beverages without sacrificing quality and consistency. These specialty ingredients are made from a variety of GMO and non-GMO raw material bases and include such ingredients as plant-based stevia sweeteners, polyols, dextrose, and allulose, a rare sugar.
Food Systems: These systems deliver proven ingredient combinations to accelerate product development that enable customers to get to market faster. A food system can address an array of functional challenges, including: mouthfeel/texture for dairy and alternative dairy products, thickening of sauces, stabilization in high-protein drinks, gelling for fruit fillings, film formers for candy shells, foaming and frothing, adding soluble fibers and nutritional ingredients, adhering particles to breads, and emulsification of flavors.
Plant-based Proteins: These specialty pulse-based protein ingredients bring solutions made from lentils, chickpeas, fava beans, and peas. They add protein, dietary fiber, micronutrients and texture to food and beverages.
The starch and sweetener industry is highly competitive. Competition within our markets is largely based on product functionality, price, and quality. Many of our products are viewed as basic ingredients that compete with virtually identical products and derivatives manufactured by other companies in the industry. The U.S. is a highly competitive market with operations by other starch processors, several of which are divisions of larger enterprises. Some of these competitors, unlike us, have vertically integrated their starch processing and other operations. Competitors include ADM’s Starches and Sweeteners business within its Carbohydrates Solutions business segment (“ADM,” a division of Archer-Daniels-Midland Company), Cargill, Inc. (“Cargill”), Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, Inc. (“Tate & Lyle”), and several others. Our operations in Mexico and Canada face competition from U.S. imports and local producers including ALMEX, a Mexican joint venture between ADM and Tate & Lyle. In South America, Cargill has starch processing operations in Brazil and Argentina. We also face competition from Roquette Frères S.A. (“Roquette”) primarily in our North America region. Many smaller local corn and tapioca processors also operate in many of our markets.
Several of our products also compete with products made from raw materials other than corn. High fructose corn syrup and monohydrate dextrose compete principally with cane and beet sugar products. Co-products such as corn oil and gluten meal compete with products of the corn dry milling industry and with soybean oil, soybean meal, and other products. Fluctuations in prices of these competing products may affect prices of, and profits derived from, our products.
We supply a broad range of customers in over 60 industries worldwide. The following table provides the approximate percentage of total net sales by industry for each of our industries served in 2020:
Food and Beverage Ingredients
Total Net sales
No customer accounted for 10 percent or more of our net sales in 2020, 2019, or 2018.
Corn (primarily yellow dent) is the primary basic raw material we use to produce starches and sweeteners. The supply of corn in the U.S. has been, and is anticipated to continue to be, adequate for our domestic needs. The price of corn, which is determined by reference to prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, fluctuates as a result of various factors including: farmers’ planting decisions, climate, domestic and foreign government policies (including those related to the production of ethanol), livestock feeding, shortages or surpluses of world grain supplies, and trade agreements. We use starch from potato processors as the primary raw material to manufacture ingredients derived from potato-based starches. We also use tapioca, gum, rice, plant-based stevia, peas, and sugar as raw materials.
Corn is also grown in other areas of the world, including China, Brazil, Europe, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Canada and Pakistan. Our subsidiaries outside the U.S. utilize both local supplies of corn and corn imported from other geographic areas, including the U.S. The supply of corn for these subsidiaries is also generally expected to be adequate for our needs. Corn prices for our non-U.S. affiliates generally fluctuate as a result of the same factors that affect U.S. corn prices.
We also utilize specialty grains such as waxy and high amylose corn in our operations. In general, the planning cycle for our specialty grain sourcing begins three years in advance of the anticipated delivery of the specialty corn since the necessary seed must be grown in the season prior to grain contracting. In order to secure these specialty grains at the time of our anticipated needs, we contract with certain farmers to grow the specialty corn approximately two years in advance of delivery. These specialty grains have a higher cost due to their more limited supply and require longer planning cycles to mitigate the risk of supply shortages.
Due to the competitive nature of our industry and the availability of substitute products not produced from corn, such as sugar from cane or beets, end-product prices may not necessarily fluctuate in a manner that correlates to raw material costs of corn.
We follow a policy of hedging our exposure to commodity price fluctuations with commodities futures and options contracts primarily for certain of our North American corn purchases. We use derivative hedging contracts to protect the gross margin of our firm-priced business primarily in North America. Other operations may or may not be hedged at any given time based on management’s judgment as to the need to fix the costs of our raw materials to protect our profitability. Outside of North America, we generally enter into short-term commercial sales contracts and adjust our selling prices based upon the local raw material costs. See Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk, in the section entitled “Commodity Costs” for additional information.
Other raw materials used in our manufacturing processes include starch from potato processors as the primary raw material to manufacture ingredients derived from potato-based starches. In addition, we use tapioca, particularly in certain of our production processes in the Asia-Pacific region. While the price of tapioca fluctuates from time-to-time as a result of growing conditions, the supply of tapioca has been, and is anticipated to continue to be, adequate for our production needs in the various markets in which we operate. In addition to corn, potato, and tapioca, we use pulses, gums, rice, plant-based stevia, peas, and sugar as raw materials, among others.
Research and Development
We have a global network of more than 500 scientists working in 32 Ingredion Idea Labs® innovation centers with headquarters in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Activities at Bridgewater include plant science and physical, chemical and biochemical modifications to food formulations, food sensory evaluation, and development of non-food applications such as starch-based biopolymers. In addition, we have product application technology centers that direct our product development teams worldwide to create product application solutions to better serve the ingredient needs of our customers. Product development activity is focused on developing product applications for identified customer and market needs. Through this approach, we have developed value-added products for use by customers in various industries. We usually collaborate with customers to develop the desired product application either in the customers’ facilities, our technical service laboratories, or on a contract basis. These efforts are supported by our marketing, product technology, and technology support staff. R&D expense was approximately $43 million in 2020, $44 million in 2019, and $46 million in 2018. Our R&D expense represents investment in new product development and innovation. Our R&D is further supplemented by technical support services to assist our customers with application development and co-creation.
Sales and Distribution
Our salaried sales personnel, who are generally dedicated to customers in a geographic region, sell our products directly to manufacturers and distributors. In addition, we have staff that provide technical support to our sales personnel on an industry basis. We generally contract with trucking companies to deliver our bulk products to customer destinations. In North America, we generally use trucks to ship to nearby customers. For those customers located considerable distances from our manufacturing facilities, we use either rail or a combination of railcars and trucks to deliver our products. We generally lease railcars for terms of three to ten years.
Patents, Trademarks, and Technical License Agreements
We owned more than 1,750 and 750 patents and patents pending as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, which relate to a variety of products and processes, and a number of established trademarks under which we market our products. We also have the right to use other patents and trademarks pursuant to patent and trademark licenses. We do not believe that any individual patent or trademark is material to our business. There is no currently pending challenge to the use or registration of any of our patents or trademarks that would have a material negative impact on our business or our results of operations if decided in a manner adverse to us.
Human Capital Resources
As of December 31, 2020, the Company had approximately 12,000 employees, of whom approximately 2,600 were located in the U.S. As of the same date, approximately 31 percent of our U.S. employees and 32 percent of our total Company employees were unionized.
The following table provides additional information about our employees as of December 31, 2020.
Number of Employees
We believe that our future growth and innovation depend on a company culture that values and promotes diversity and inclusion. Our diverse and inclusive workforce fuels our high-performance culture and attracts and helps us to retain top talent and sustain our competitive advantage.
We leverage the diverse experience and skills of our Business Resource Groups (“BRGs”) to help inform our business strategy. Our BRGs, such as Alliance of Black Employees, Women of Ingredion Network, and PRIDE for our LGBTQ+ cohorts, are integral in maintaining and improving a culture of inclusion and belonging at Ingredion. We have implemented BRGs across our global operations. Our BRGs play an essential role in connecting employees across regions and providing them with opportunities to enhance cultural awareness and enable collaboration.
In addition, we have joined the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, pledging our commitment to achieving gender parity in corporate leadership roles by 2030. Currently, both the Company’s Board of Directors and its Executive Leadership team are comprised of more than 25% women. The Paradigm for Parity Action Plan is to significantly increase the number of women in senior operating roles.
To continue to attract, develop, and retain top talent, the Company employs a variety of tools and strategies to assess capabilities, identify skills gaps and provide growth and advancement opportunities based on the needs of the business and our employees. Our total approach to compensation and benefits rewards our employees based on the overall contribution to the business. In addition, we regularly assess employee engagement levels and proactively seek continuous improvement in the workplace.
As a manufacturer and marketer of food items and items for use in the pharmaceutical industry, our operations and the use of many of our products are subject to various federal, state, foreign and local statutes and regulations, including the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. We and many of our products are also subject to regulation by various government agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Among other things, applicable regulations prescribe requirements and establish standards for product quality, purity, and labeling. Failure to comply with one or more regulatory requirements can result in a variety of sanctions, including monetary fines. No such fines of a material nature were imposed on us in 2020. We may also be required to comply with federal, state, foreign, and local laws regulating food handling and storage. We believe these laws and regulations have not negatively affected our competitive position.
Our operations are also subject to various federal, state, foreign, and local laws and regulations with respect to environmental matters, including air and water quality, and other regulations intended to protect public health and the environment. We operate industrial boilers that fire natural gas, coal, or biofuels to operate our manufacturing facilities and they, along with product dryers, are our primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. In Argentina, we are in discussions with local regulators addressing our possible undertaking to conduct studies of possible environmental remediation programs at our Chacabuco manufacturing facility. We are unable to predict the outcome of these discussions, but do not believe that the ultimate cost of remediation will be material.
During 2020, we spent approximately $12 million for environmental control and wastewater treatment equipment to be incorporated into existing facilities and in planned construction projects. We currently anticipate that we will invest approximately $26 million for environmental facilities and programs in 2021.
Based on current laws and regulations and the enforcement and interpretations thereof, we do not expect that the costs of future environmental compliance will be a material expense, although there can be no assurance that we will remain in compliance or that the costs of remaining in compliance will not have a material adverse effect on our future financial condition and results of operations.
Our Internet address is www.ingredion.com. We make available, free of charge through our Internet website, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These reports are made available as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our corporate governance guidelines, board committee charters and code of ethics are posted on our website, the address of which is www.ingredion.com, and each is available in print to any stockholder upon request in writing to Ingredion Incorporated, 5 Westbrook Corporate Center, Westchester, Illinois 60154, Attention: Corporate Secretary. The contents of our website are not incorporated by reference into this report.
Information about our Executive Officers
Set forth below, as of January 31, 2021, is information about all of our executive officers, indicating their positions and offices with the Company and other business experience. Our executive officers are elected annually by the Board to serve until the next annual election of officers and until their respective successors have been elected and have qualified, or until their earlier resignation or removal by the Board.
Positions, Offices and Business Experience
James P. Zallie
President and Chief Executive Officer since January 1, 2018. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Zallie served as Executive Vice President, Global Specialties and President, Americas from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Mr. Zallie previously served as Executive Vice President, Global Specialties and President, North America and EMEA from January 6, 2014 to December 31, 2015; Executive Vice President, Global Specialties and President, EMEA and Asia-Pacific from February 1, 2012 to January 5, 2014; and Executive Vice President and President, Global Ingredient Solutions from October 1, 2010 to January 31, 2012. Mr. Zallie previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Starch business from January 2007 to September 30, 2010 when it was acquired by Ingredion. Mr. Zallie worked for National Starch for more than 27 years in various positions of increasing responsibility, first in technical, then marketing and then international business management positions. Mr. Zallie serves as a director of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, a not-for-profit organization. Mr. Zallie earned a bachelor’s degree in food science from Pennsylvania State University, and both a master’s degree in food science and technology and a master’s degree in finance from Rutgers University.
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer since March 1, 2018. Prior to assuming her current position, Ms. Adefioye served as Vice President, Human Resources, North America and Global Specialties, a position she held from September 12, 2016. She previously served as Vice President Human Resources Americas of Janssen Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, with responsibilities for the strategic talent agenda, employee engagement and organizational capabilities efforts with respect to more than 5,000 employees from June 2015 to September 2016. From February 2013 to June 2015, she served as Worldwide Vice President Human Resources, Cardiovascular and Specialty Solutions of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Sector. Ms. Adefioye served as Vice President Human Resources Global Manufacturing and Supply of Novartis Consumer Health from February 2012 to January 2013, and as Vice President, Human Resources, North America of Novartis Consumer Health from September 2008 to January 2012. Ms. Adefioye served as Region Head, Human Resources Emerging Markets of Novartis OTC, from January 2007 to September 2008. Previously, she served as Regional Human Resources Director – Central and Eastern Europe, Greece & Israel of Medtronic plc. from February 2001 to December 2006. She served as Senior Human Resources Manager of Bristol-Myers Squibb UK from January 2000 to January 2001. Ms. Adefioye holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Lagos State University in Lagos, Nigeria and a postgraduate diploma in human resources management from the University of Westminster in London, England, United Kingdom. She also received a diploma in building leadership capability from Glasgow Caledonian University in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Ms. Adefioye served as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and is a member and Director of the Society for Human Resources Management. Ms. Adefioye also serves as a Director of the non-profit Skills for Chicagoland’s Future.
Senior Vice President and President, APAC and Global Head of Pharma, Home and Beauty since October 1, 2020. Previously, Ms. Bastos-Licht served as Senior Vice President and President, Asia-Pacific from March 1, 2018 to September 30, 2020. Ms. Bastos-Licht served as Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific of Solvay SA's Euro Novecare operation, from August 2012 to February 2018. Solvay is a Belgian leader in the specialty chemical industry. The Euro Novecare operation provides chemicals for home and personal care, agriculture, coatings, oil and gas, and industrial applications. Prior to that, she served as Vice President and General Manager – Brazil of Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy – Brazil from August 2011 to August 2012. Ms. Bastos-Licht began her career with BASF, a producer of chemicals and related products, where she spent 21 years in various positions of increasing complexity in IT, operational and strategic supply chain and global strategic and operational marketing, most recently serving as Vice President, General Manager Care Chemicals Division – South America. Ms. Bastos-Licht holds both a bachelor's and a licensing degree in mathematics from Fundacao Santo Andre in Brazil and a Master of Science degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Janet M. Bawcom
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer since April 15, 2019. Prior to assuming her current position, Ms. Bawcom served as Senior Vice President, Corporate, Securities & Finance Counsel and Assistant Secretary for Dell Technologies Inc. During her 20-year career at Dell, Ms. Bawcom held numerous senior-level legal positions and had responsibility for M&A, board governance, corporate securities, public reporting and capital markets. Prior to joining Dell, she was in private legal practice in Dallas, Texas. Ms. Bawcom holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University, where she also served on the board of editors of The Journal of Air Law and Commerce. Ms. Bawcom is a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Oklahoma Price College of Business.
Anthony P. DeLio
Chief Executive Officer, PureCircle since October 1, 2020. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. DeLio served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Chief Innovation Officer from March 1, 2018 to September 30, 2020 and Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer from January 1, 2014 to February 28, 2018. Mr. DeLio served as Vice President, Global Innovation from November 4, 2010 to December 31, 2013, and as Vice President, Global Innovation for National Starch (acquired by Ingredion October 1, 2010) from January 1, 2009 to November 3, 2010. Mr. DeLio served as Vice President and General Manager, North America, of National Starch from February 26, 2006 to December 31, 2008. Prior to that, he served as Associate Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from August 2004 to February 2006. Previously, Mr. DeLio served as Corporate Vice President of Marketing and External Relations of ADM, one of the world’s largest processors of oilseeds, corn, wheat, cocoa and other agricultural commodities and a leading manufacturer of protein meal, vegetable oil, corn sweeteners, flour, biodiesel, ethanol and other value-added food and feed ingredients, from October 2002 to October 2003. Prior to that, Mr. DeLio was President of the Protein Specialties and Nutraceutical Divisions of ADM from September 2000 to October 2002 and President of the Nutraceutical Division of ADM from June 1999 to September 2001. He held various senior product development positions with Mars, Inc. from 1980 to May 1999. Mr. DeLio currently serves as a Director of Clara Foods. Mr. DeLio holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial & Sustainability Officer of the Company since July 17, 2018. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Fernandes served as Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer since March 1, 2018. Prior thereto, Mr. Fernandes served as President and General Director, Mexico, from January 1, 2014 to February 28, 2018. Prior to that, he served as Vice President and General Manager, U.S./Canada from May 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Fernandes was Vice President, Global Beverage and General Manager, Sweetener and Industrial Solutions, U.S./Canada from November 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013. Prior to that, he served as Vice President Food and Beverage Markets from October 1, 2009 to October 31, 2011. Prior thereto, he served in several roles of increasing responsibility in the Commercial organization from May 7, 1990 to September 30, 2009. Prior to joining Ingredion, Mr. Fernandes worked at QuakerChem Canada Ltd. as a Technical Sales Manager. Mr. Fernandes was a member of the executive board of Nueva Vision para el Desarrollo Agroalimentario de Mexico A.C. (Mexican representation of a New Vision for Agriculture, a global initiative of the World Economic Forum) and a member of the executive board of IDAQUIM (representing Corn Refining in Mexico). Mr. Fernandes was also a member of the board of directors of the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) and the board of directors of the International Stevia Council (ISC). Mr. Fernandes holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a minor in accounting from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
James D. Gray
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since March 1, 2017. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Vice President, Corporate Finance and Planning, from April 1, 2016 to February 28, 2017. Mr. Gray previously served as Vice President, Finance, North America from January 6, 2014 when he joined the Company, to March 31, 2016. Prior to that, Mr. Gray was employed by PepsiCo, Inc. from December 1, 2004 to January 3, 2014. He served as Chief Financial Officer, Gatorade division and Vice President Finance of PepsiCo, Inc. from August 16, 2010 to January 3, 2014. Prior to that Mr. Gray served as Vice President Finance PepsiCo Beverages North America from December 1, 2004 to August 14, 2010. Mr. Gray holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Executive Vice President and President, Americas since October 1, 2020. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Kokke served as Vice President, Global Specialties, and President, North America from February 5, 2018 until September 30, 2020. Mr. Kokke previously served as Senior Vice President and President, Asia-Pacific and EMEA from January 1, 2016 to February 4, 2018. Previously, Mr. Kokke served as Senior Vice President and President, Asia-Pacific from September 16, 2014 to December 31, 2015, and as Vice President and General Manager, Asia-Pacific from January 6, 2014 to September 15, 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Kokke served as Vice President and General Manager, EMEA since joining National Starch (acquired by Ingredion October 1, 2010) on March 1, 2009. Prior to that, he served as a Vice President of CSM NV, a global food ingredients supplier, where he had responsibility for the global Purac Food & Nutrition business from 2006 to 2009, Prior to that, Mr. Kokke was Director of Strategy and Business Development at CSM NV. Prior to that, he held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility in sales, business development, marketing and general management in Unilever’s Loders Croklaan Group. Mr. Kokke holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Amsterdam.
Stephen K. Latreille
Vice President and Corporate Controller since April 1, 2016. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Latreille served as Vice President, Corporate Finance, from August 5, 2014 to March 31, 2016. From August 26, 2014 to November 18, 2014, Mr. Latreille also led the Company’s Investor Relations and Corporate Communications function on an interim basis. He previously served as Director, Corporate Finance and Planning from March 4, 2013, when he joined the Company, to August 4, 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Latreille was employed by Kraft Foods, Inc., then the world’s second largest food company, for over 18 years. He held several positions of increasing responsibility while at Kraft Foods. Prior to his time with Kraft Foods, Mr. Latreille held several positions at Rand McNally & Company, a leading provider of maps, navigation and travel content, and Price Waterhouse, one of the world’s largest accounting firms. Mr. Latreille is a member of the advisory board of the Department of Finance, Broad College of Business, Michigan State University and of Ladder Up, a not-for-profit organization that provides free financial services in Illinois. Mr. Latreille holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Pierre Perez y Landazuri
Senior Vice President Texture, Protein & Performance Specialties and President EMEA since January 4, 2021. Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Perez y Landazuri served as Senior Vice President and President, EMEA from January 1, 2018 to January 3, 2021. Mr. Perez y Landazuri served as Vice President and General Manager, EMEA for the Company’s subsidiary, Ingredion Germany GmbH, from April 15, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Before joining Ingredion, Mr. Perez y Landazuri was employed by CP Kelco, a global producer of specialty hydrocolloid ingredients from September 2000 to March 2016. He most recently served as Vice President, Asia-Pacific from January 2014 to March 2016 in Shanghai, China and Singapore. Prior to that, he served as Vice President & General Manager, Asia-Pacific from June 2011 to December 2013 and as Marketing & Strategy Director from January 2010 to May 2011 in Shanghai. Prior to that, Mr. Perez y Landazuri held a number of marketing, sales and product management roles at CP Kelco in Paris, France. Early in his career, he was employed by Rohm and Haas, BASF and Hercules in sales, marketing and engineering positions. Mr. Perez y Landazuri holds a master’s degree in chemical process engineering from ENSCP Graduate School of Chemistry (now Chimie ParisTech) in Paris, France.
Senior Vice President, Global Operations, and Chief Supply Chain Officer since January 11, 2021. In this role, Mr. Seip leads global manufacturing, supply chain and procurement excellence while driving world-class safety, delivering cost savings through efficiency management and accelerating digital transformation. Additionally, Mr. Seip develops, implements and maintains supply chain strategies to ensure the continued identification and assimilation of innovative thinking and best practices. Mr. Seip brings more than 30 years of global operations and supply chain experience in asset expansions, integrations, turnarounds, operations strategy, Lean Six Sigma and change management. Before joining Ingredion, Mr. Seip was senior vice president, global procurement and supply chain at ChampionX (formerly Ecolab), a global oil and gas services company, where he was responsible for more than 30 chemical plants. Mr. Seip holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and earned a master’s degree in finance from Pepperdine University.
Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer since October 1, 2020. Prior to joining Ingredion, Mr. Xu worked for Royal DSM, a multinational corporation active in fields of health, nutrition and materials: from May 2016 to September 2020. He served as President, Human Nutrition and Health, a multibillion dollar global business unit including vitamins, carotenoids, nutritional lipids and nutraceuticals, and was based in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to that he worked for DuPont, a leading global manufacturer of chemicals, electronic and communication technologies, performance materials, coatings and color technologies, safety and protection materials, and agriculture and nutrition ingredients, from April 2007 to April 2016 and from May 2000 to April 2006 in a variety of management roles in both the United States and China. Mr. Xu has a bachelor's degree in biology and bio-engineering from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, a master's degree in plant physiology from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Purdue University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Purdue University. Mr. Xu speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Our business and assets are subject to varying degrees of risk and uncertainty. The following are factors that we believe could cause our actual results to differ materially from expected and historical results. Additional risks that are currently unknown to us or that we currently view as immaterial may also impair our business or adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations. In addition, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws that are contained in this Form 10-K or in our other filings or statements may be subject to the risks described below as well as other risks and uncertainties. See the cautionary notice regarding forward-looking statements in Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry
The spread of COVID-19, is adversely affecting, and is expected to continue to adversely affect, demand for our products and our financial results.
In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) was reported to have surfaced in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 has since spread to over 100 countries, including every state in the United States. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and on March 13, 2020 the U.S. declared a national emergency with respect to COVID-19.
Our global operations expose us to risks associated with COVID-19. We continue to monitor the health of the employees in each of our 46 manufacturing facilities, domestically and outside the U.S., as COVID-19 related illness at a particular location could impact continued manufacturing operations at that location.
Foreign governmental organizations and governmental organizations at the national, state and local levels in the U.S. have taken various actions to combat the spread of COVID-19, including imposing stay-at-home orders that effectively close “non-essential” businesses and their operations. Because we manufacture food ingredients, our operations are currently considered “essential” under most current COVID-19 government regulations, thus permitting us to continue operations at our facilities and sales activities consistent with those regulations.
Certain of our customers, however, are deemed to be “non-essential” industries and businesses under governmental regulations. The industries and businesses deemed “non-essential” vary by country and region. For example, Mexico declared one or more brewing producers as “non-essential” industries for a period of time during the pandemic. Our customers in affected industries are not able to produce goods during the government-mandated closures, which adversely affects customer demand for our products. Further, government-enacted stay-at-home orders have significantly limited the end-consumers’ ability in the U.S. and foreign markets to purchase certain food or beverage products due to limitations on the operations of restaurants, bars and regionally specific sales channels. We expect that these limitations over time will continue to negatively affect customer demand for our products, further impacting our revenues and our operating results. Further, any inability by our customers to produce goods may delay our customers’ ability to pay outstanding receivables, which would adversely impact our cash flow from operations and working capital.
In addition, COVID-19 has impacted and may further impact the broader economies of affected countries, including negatively affecting economic growth, the proper functioning of financial and capital markets, foreign currency exchange rates, and interest rates. Such risks include, in addition to those described above, negative impacts on our cost of and access to capital, pressure to extend our customers’ payment terms, insolvency of our customers resulting in increased provisions for credit losses, and counterparty failures in our supply chain, customer network or otherwise that would negatively impact our operations. These risks individually and in the aggregate could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, financial condition, cash flows and prospects.
Changes in consumer preferences and perceptions may lessen the demand for our products, which could reduce our sales and profitability and harm our business.
Food products are often affected by changes in consumer tastes, national, regional and local economic conditions and demographic trends. For instance, changes in prevailing health or dietary preferences causing consumers to avoid food products containing sweetener products, including high fructose corn syrup, in favor of foods that are perceived as being more healthy, could materially reduce our sales and profitability. Increasing concern among consumers, public health professionals and government agencies about the potential health concerns associated with obesity and inactive lifestyles (reflected, for instance, in taxes designed to combat obesity, which have been imposed recently in North America) represent a significant challenge to some of our customers, including those engaged in the food and soft drink industries, and could materially affect demand for our products.
Current economic conditions may adversely impact demand for our products, reduce access to credit and cause our customers and others with whom we do business to suffer financial hardship, all of which could adversely impact our business, results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows.
Economic conditions in South America, the European Union, and many other countries and regions in which we do business have experienced various levels of weakness over the last few years and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future. General business and economic conditions that could affect us include barriers to trade (including as a result of tariffs, duties, and border taxes, among other factors), the strength of the economies in which we operate, unemployment, inflation, and fluctuations in debt markets. While currently these conditions have not impaired our ability to access credit markets and finance our operations, there can be no assurance that there will not be a further deterioration in the financial markets.
There could be a number of other effects from these economic developments on our business, including reduced consumer demand for products, pressure to extend our customers’ payment terms, insolvency of our customers resulting in increased provisions for credit losses, decreased customer demand, including order delays or cancellations, and counterparty failures negatively impacting our operations.
In connection with our defined benefit pension plans, adverse changes in investment returns earned on pension assets and discount rates used to calculate pension and related liabilities or changes in required pension funding levels may have an unfavorable impact on future pension expenses and cash flows.
In addition, volatile worldwide economic conditions and market instability may make it difficult for us, our customers, and our suppliers to accurately forecast future product demand trends, which could cause us to produce excess products that could increase our inventory carrying costs. Alternatively, this forecasting difficulty could cause a shortage of products that could result in an inability to satisfy demand for our products.
Our reliance on certain industries for a significant portion of our sales could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Approximately 54 percent of our 2020 net sales were made to companies engaged in the food industry and approximately 10 percent of our 2020 net sales were made to companies in the beverage industry. Additionally, sales to the animal nutrition and brewing industry represented approximately 10 percent and approximately 7 percent, respectively, of our 2020 net sales, while 19 percent of our 2020 net sales were made to companies engaged in other industries. If our food customers, beverage customers, animal feed customers, or brewing industry customers were to substantially decrease their purchases, our business might be materially adversely affected.
The uncertainty of acceptance of products developed through biotechnology could affect our profitability.
The commercial success of agricultural products developed through biotechnology, including genetically modified corn, depends in part on public acceptance of their development, cultivation, distribution and consumption. Public attitudes can be influenced by claims that genetically modified products are unsafe for consumption or that they pose unknown risks to the environment, even if such claims are not based on scientific studies. These public attitudes can influence regulatory and legislative decisions about biotechnology. The sale of our products, which may contain genetically modified corn, could be delayed or impeded because of adverse public perception regarding the safety of our products and the potential effects of these products on human health, the environment, and animals.
Our future growth could be negatively impacted if we fail to continue introducing innovative new products and services.
A significant portion of our growth depends on innovation in products, processes, and services. Our research and development efforts may not result in new products and services at a rate or of a quality sufficient to gain market acceptance.
It may be difficult to preserve operating margins and maintain market share in the highly competitive environment in which we operate.
We operate in a highly competitive environment. Competition in markets in which we compete is largely based on price, quality, and product availability. Many of our products compete with virtually identical or similar products manufactured by other companies in the starch and sweetener industry. In the U.S., our competitors include divisions of larger enterprises that have greater financial resources than we do. Some of these competitors, unlike us, have vertically integrated their corn refining and other operations. Many of our products also compete with products made from raw materials other than corn, including cane and beet sugar. Fluctuation in prices of these competing products may affect prices of, and profits derived from, our products. In addition, government programs supporting sugar prices indirectly impact the price of corn sweeteners, especially high fructose corn syrup. Furthermore, co-products such as corn oil and gluten meal compete with products of the corn dry milling industry and with soybean oil, soybean meal, and other products, the price of some of which may be affected by government programs such as tariffs or quotas.
Due to market volatility, we may be unable to pass potential increases in the cost of corn and other raw materials on to customers through product price increases, or to purchase quantities of corn and other raw materials at prices sufficient to sustain or increase our profitability.
The price and availability of corn and other raw materials are subject to volatility as a result of economic and industry conditions, including supply and demand factors such as crop disease and severe weather conditions that include drought, floods, or frost. These conditions are difficult to anticipate, are beyond our control, and could adversely impact our profitability by affecting the prices we pay for raw materials.
Raw material and energy price fluctuations, and supply interruptions and shortages could adversely affect our results of operations.
Our finished products are made primarily from corn. Purchased corn and other raw material costs account for between 40 percent and 65 percent of finished product costs. Some of our products are based upon specific varieties of corn that are produced in significantly less volumes than yellow dent corn. These specialty grains are higher-cost due to their more limited supply and require planning cycles of up to three years in order for us to receive our desired amounts of specialty corn. We also manufacture certain starch-based products from potatoes. Our current potato starch requirements constitute a material portion of the total available North American supply. It is possible that, in the long term, continued growth in demand for potato starch-based ingredients and new product development could result in capacity constraints. Also, we utilize tapioca in the manufacturing of starch products primarily in Thailand, as well as pulses, gum, rice, plant-based stevia, and other raw materials around the world. A significant supply disruption or sharp increase in any of these raw material prices that we are unable to recover through pricing increases to our customers could have an adverse impact on our growth and profitability.
Energy costs represent approximately 9 percent of our finished product costs. We use energy primarily to create steam required for our production processes and to dry products. We consume coal, natural gas, electricity, wood, and fuel oil to generate energy.
The market prices for our raw materials may vary considerably depending on supply and demand, world economies, trade agreements and tariffs, and other factors. We purchase these commodities based on our anticipated usage and future outlook for these costs. We may not be able to purchase these commodities at prices that we can adequately pass on to customers to sustain or increase profitability.
In North America, we sell a large portion of our finished products derived from corn at firm prices established in supply contracts typically lasting for periods of up to one year. In order to minimize the effect of volatility in the cost of corn related to these firm-priced supply contracts, we enter into corn futures and options contracts, or take other hedging positions in the corn futures market. These derivative contracts typically mature within one year. At expiration, we settle the derivative contracts at a net amount equal to the difference between the then-current price of the commodity and the derivative contract price. The fluctuations in the fair value of these hedging instruments may adversely affect our cash flow. We fund any unrealized losses or receive cash for any unrealized gains on futures contracts on a daily basis. While the corn futures contracts or hedging positions are intended to minimize the effect of volatility of corn costs on operating profits, the hedging activity can result in losses, some of which may be material.
An inability to contain costs could adversely affect our future profitability and growth.
Our future profitability and growth depends on our ability to contain operating costs and per unit product costs and to maintain and implement effective cost control programs, while at the same time maintaining competitive pricing and superior quality products, customer service, and support. Our ability to maintain a competitive cost structure depends on continued containment of manufacturing, delivery, freight, and administrative costs, as well as the implementation of cost-effective purchasing programs for raw materials, energy, and related manufacturing requirements.
If we are unable to contain our operating costs and maintain the productivity and reliability of our production facilities, our profitability and growth could be adversely affected.
Climate change and future costs of environmental compliance may be material.
Our business could be affected in the future by national and global regulation or taxation of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the potential effects of climate change. Changes in precipitation extremes, droughts and water availability have the potential to impact Ingredion's agricultural supply as well as the availability of water for our manufacturing operations. Globally, a number of countries have instituted or are considering climate change legislation and regulations. Ingredion continues to assess the impact of climate change, regulatory pressures and changing consumer behaviors on our business strategy. It is difficult at this time to estimate the likelihood of passage or predict the potential impact of any additional legislation. Potential consequences could include increased energy, transportation, and raw materials costs, and we may be required to make additional investments in our facilities and equipment.
We may not successfully identify and complete acquisitions or strategic alliances on favorable terms or achieve anticipated synergies relating to any acquisitions or alliances, and such transactions could result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures and require significant management resources.
We regularly review potential acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies, services, or products, as well as potential strategic alliances. We may be unable to find suitable acquisition candidates or appropriate partners with which to form partnerships or strategic alliances. Even if we identify appropriate acquisition or alliance candidates, we may be unable to complete such acquisitions or alliances on favorable terms, if at all. In addition, the process of integrating an acquired business, technology, service, or product into our existing business and operations may result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. Integration of an acquired company also may require significant management resources that otherwise would be available for ongoing development of our business. Moreover, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisition or strategic alliance, and such transactions may not generate anticipated financial
results. Future acquisitions could also require us to issue equity securities, incur debt, assume contingent liabilities, or amortize expenses related to intangible assets, any of which could harm our business.
Operating difficulties at our manufacturing facilities could adversely affect our operating results.
Producing starches and sweeteners through corn refining is a capital intensive industry. We conduct preventive maintenance and de-bottlenecking programs at our 46 manufacturing facilities designed to maintain and improve grind capacity and facility reliability. If we encounter operating difficulties at a facility for an extended period of time or start-up problems with any capital improvement projects, we may not be able to meet a portion of sales order commitments and could incur significantly higher operating expenses, both of which could adversely affect our operating results. We also use boilers to generate steam required in our production processes. An event that impaired the operation of a boiler for an extended period of time could have a significant adverse effect on the operations of any manufacturing facility in which such event occurred.
In addition, we are subject to risks related to such matters as product safety and quality; compliance with environmental, health and safety and food safety regulations; and customer product liability claims. The liabilities that could result from these risks may not always be covered by, or could exceed the limits of, our insurance coverage related to product liability and food safety matters. In addition, negative publicity caused by product liability and food safety matters may damage our reputation. The occurrence of any of the matters described above could adversely affect our revenues and operating results.
We operate a multinational business subject to the economic, political, and other risks inherent in operating in foreign countries and with foreign currencies.
We have operated in foreign countries and with foreign currencies for many years. Our results are subject to foreign currency exchange fluctuations. Our operations are subject to political, economic, and other risks. There has been and continues to be significant political uncertainty in some countries in which we operate. Economic changes, terrorist activity, and political unrest may result in business interruption or decreased demand for our products. Protectionist trade measures and import and export licensing requirements could also adversely affect our results of operations.
We primarily sell products derived from world commodities. Historically, we have been able to adjust local prices relatively quickly to offset the effect of local currency devaluations versus the U.S. dollar, although we cannot guarantee our ability to do this in the future. For example, due to pricing controls on many consumer products imposed in the recent past by the Argentine government, it currently takes longer than previously to achieve pricing improvement in response to currency devaluations versus the U.S. dollar in Argentina. The anticipated strength in the U.S. dollar may continue to involve risks, as it could take us an extended period of time to fully recapture the impact of foreign currency devaluations versus the U.S. dollar, particularly in South America.
We may hedge transactions that are denominated in a currency other than the currency of the operating unit entering into the underlying transaction. Our hedging activities may not be fully successful in limiting the adverse impacts of our currency risks.
Our profitability could be negatively impacted if we fail to maintain satisfactory labor relations.
As of December 31, 2020, approximately 31 percent of our U.S. employees and 32 percent of our total Company employees were members of unions. Strikes, lockouts, or other work stoppages or slowdowns involving our unionized employees could have a material adverse effect on our business results of operations.
Natural disasters, war, acts and threats of terrorism, pandemics, and other significant events could negatively impact our business.
The economies of any countries in which we sell or manufacture products or purchase raw materials could be affected by natural disasters. Such natural disasters could include, among others, earthquakes, floods, or severe weather;
war, acts of war, or terrorism; or the outbreak of an epidemic or pandemic. Any such natural disaster could result in asset write-offs, decreased sales and overall reduced cash flows.
The recognition of impairment charges on goodwill or long-lived assets could adversely impact our future financial position and results of operations.
We have $1.3 billion of total net intangible assets as of December 31, 2020, consisting of $902 million of goodwill and $444 million of other net intangible assets, which constitute 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively, of our total assets as of such date. Additionally, we have $2.8 billion of long-lived assets, or 41 percent of our total assets, as of December 31, 2020.
We perform an annual impairment assessment for goodwill and our indefinite-lived intangible assets, and as necessary, for other long-lived assets. If the results of such assessments were to show that the fair value of these assets were less than the carrying values, we could be required to recognize a charge for impairment of goodwill or long-lived assets, and the amount of the impairment charge could be material. We continue to monitor our reporting units in struggling economies and recent acquisitions for circumstances affecting these businesses that may negatively impact the fair value of these reporting units.
In addition, during the fourth quarter of 2020, we recorded an impairment of $35 million related to our indefinite-lived intangible asset associated with the TIC Gums tradename. During the first quarter of 2021, we will record an impairment affecting South American net assets contributed to a joint venture. See Note 15 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
The future occurrence of a potential indicator of impairment, such as a significant adverse change in the business climate that would require a change in our assumptions or strategic decisions made in response to economic or competitive conditions, could require us to perform an assessment prior to the next required assessment date of July 1, 2021.
Our profitability may be affected by other factors beyond our control.
Our operating income and ability to increase profitability depend to a large extent upon our ability to price finished products at a level that will cover manufacturing and raw material costs and provide an acceptable profit margin. Our ability to maintain appropriate price levels is determined by a number of factors largely beyond our control, such as aggregate industry supply and market demand, which may vary from time to time, and the economic conditions of the geographic regions in which we conduct our operations.
Risks Related to Our Regulatory Compliance
Government policies and regulations could adversely affect our operating results.
Our operating results could be affected by changes in trade, monetary and fiscal policies, laws and regulations, and other activities of the U.S. and foreign governments, agencies, and similar organizations. These conditions include, among others, changes in a country’s or region’s economic or political conditions, modification or termination of trade agreements or treaties promoting free trade, creation of new trade agreements or treaties, trade regulations affecting production, pricing and marketing of products, local labor conditions and regulations, reduced protection of intellectual property rights, changes in the regulatory or legal environment, restrictions on currency exchange activities, currency exchange rate fluctuations, burdensome taxes and tariffs, and other trade barriers. International risks and uncertainties, including changing social and economic conditions as well as terrorism, political hostilities, and war, could limit our ability to transact business in these markets and could adversely affect our revenues and operating results.
Our operations could be adversely affected by actions taken in connection with cross-border disputes by the governments of countries in which we conduct business.
Changes in our tax rates or exposure to additional income tax liabilities could impact our profitability.
We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. and in foreign jurisdictions. Our effective tax rates could be adversely affected by changes in the mix of earnings by jurisdiction, changes in tax laws, or tax rates changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and material adjustments from tax audits.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”), which was enacted in December 2017, significantly altered existing U.S. tax law and includes numerous and complex provisions that substantially affect our business. The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service continue to interpret and issue guidance on provisions of the TCJA that could differ from the way in which we interpret some of the provisions. Consequently, we may make adjustments to our provision for income taxes based on differences in interpretation in the periods in which guidance is issued.
Significant changes in the tax laws of the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions in which we do business could result from the base erosion and profit shifting (“BEPS”) project undertaken by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”). An OECD-led coalition of 44 countries is contemplating changes to long-standing international tax norms that determine each country’s right to tax cross-border transactions. These contemplated changes, as adopted by countries in which we do business, could increase tax uncertainty and the risk of double taxation, thereby adversely affecting our provision for income taxes.
The recoverability of our deferred tax assets, which are predominantly in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, and the U.S., is dependent upon our ability to generate future taxable income in these jurisdictions. In addition, the amount of income taxes we pay is subject to ongoing audits in various jurisdictions and a material assessment by a governing tax authority could affect our profitability and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Financing Activities
Increased interest rates could increase our borrowing costs.
We may continue to issue debt securities to finance acquisitions, capital expenditures, and working capital, or for other general corporate purposes. An increase in interest rates in the general economy could result in an increase in our borrowing costs for these financings, as well as under our credit facility debt that bears interest at an unhedged floating rate.
We may not have access to the funds required for future growth and expansion.
We may not have access to additional funds we need to grow and expand our operations. We expect to fund our capital expenditures from operating cash flow to the extent we are able to do so. If our operating cash flow is insufficient to fund our capital expenditures, we may either reduce our capital expenditures or utilize borrowings under our credit facilities. For further strategic growth through mergers or acquisitions, we may also seek to generate additional liquidity through the sale of debt or equity securities in private or public markets or through the sale of assets. We cannot provide any assurance that our cash flows from operations will be sufficient to fund anticipated capital expenditures or that we will be able to obtain additional funds from financial markets or from the sale of assets at terms favorable to us. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows or raise sufficient additional funds to cover our capital expenditures or other strategic growth opportunities, we may not be able to achieve our desired operating efficiencies and expansion plans, which may adversely impact our competitiveness and, therefore, our results of operations. Our working capital requirements, including margin requirements on open positions on futures exchanges, are directly affected by the price of corn and other agricultural commodities, which may fluctuate significantly and change quickly.
Risks Related to Our Information Technology Systems
Our information technology systems, processes, and sites may suffer interruptions, security breaches, or failures which may affect our ability to conduct our business.
Our operations rely on certain key information technology systems, which are dependent on services provided by third parties, and provide critical data connectivity, information, and services for internal and external users. These interactions include, among others, ordering and managing materials from suppliers, risk management activities, converting raw materials to finished products, inventory management, shipping products to customers, processing transactions, summarizing and reporting results of operations, human resources benefits and payroll management, complying with regulatory, legal and tax requirements, and other processes necessary to manage our business. Increased information technology security and social engineering threats and more sophisticated computer crime, including advanced persistent threats, pose potential risks to the security of our information technology systems, networks and services, as well as the confidentiality, availability and integrity of our third-party and employee data. We have put in place security measures to protect ourselves against cyber-based attacks and disaster recovery plans for our critical systems. However, if our information technology systems are breached, damaged, or cease to function properly due to any number of causes, such as catastrophic events, power outages, security breaches, or cyber-based attacks, and if our disaster recovery plans do not effectively mitigate the risks on a timely basis, we may encounter significant disruptions that could interrupt our ability to manage our operations, cause loss of valuable data and actual or threatened legal actions, and cause us to suffer damage to our reputation, all of which may adversely impact our revenues, operating results, and financial condition. We reported a malware incident that occurred from October 2019 to December 2019, although this incident did not have a material impact on our business.
The costs to address the foregoing security problems and security vulnerabilities before or after a cyber incident could be significant. Remediation efforts may not be successful and could result in interruptions, delays or cessation of service and loss of existing or potential customers that may impede our sales, manufacturing or other critical functions. Breaches of our security measures and the unapproved dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive or confidential data about us or our customers or other third parties could expose us, our customers or other affected third parties to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, result in regulatory enforcement, litigation and potential liability for us, damage our brand and reputation or otherwise harm our business. We rely in certain limited capacities on third-party data management providers and other vendors whose possible security problems and security vulnerabilities may have similar effects on us.
Risks Related to Investment in Our Common Stock
Volatility in the stock market, fluctuations in quarterly operating results, and other factors could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
The market price for our common stock may be significantly affected by factors such as our announcement of new products or services or such announcements by our competitors; technological innovation by us, our competitors or other vendors; quarterly variations in our operating results or the operating results of our competitors; general conditions in our or our customers’ markets; and changes in earnings estimates by analysts or reported results that vary materially from such estimates. In addition, the stock market has experienced significant price fluctuations that have affected the market prices of equity securities of many companies that have been unrelated to the operating performance of any individual company.
No assurance can be given that we will continue to pay dividends, or as to the amount of any dividend we pay.
The payment of dividends, as well as the amount of any dividends, is solely at the discretion of our Board of Directors. Future dividend payments, if any, also will be subject to our financial results and the availability of statutory surplus funds to pay dividends. These factors could result in a change to our current policy of paying dividends.
We identified a material weakness in our internal controls related to ineffective information technology general controls which, if not remediated appropriately or timely, could result in loss of investor confidence and adversely impact our stock price.
Internal controls related to the operation of information technology (“IT”) systems are critical to maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. As disclosed in Part II, Item 9A. Controls and Procedures during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, management identified a material weakness in internal control related to ineffective information technology general controls in the areas of user access over certain IT systems that support the Company’s financial reporting processes. As a result, management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2020. We seek to remediate the material weakness prior to the end of fiscal 2021, but may not succeed in doing so. Remedial measures may require us to invest in additional technology and other expenses. If we are unable to remediate the material weakness, or are otherwise unable to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures, our ability to record, process and report financial information accurately, and to prepare financial statements within required time periods, could be adversely affected, which could subject us to litigation or investigations requiring management resources and payment of legal and other expenses, negatively affect investor confidence in our financial statements and adversely impact our stock price.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
We own or lease (as noted below), directly and through our consolidated subsidiaries, 46 manufacturing facilities. In addition, we lease our corporate headquarters in Westchester, Illinois and our research and development facility in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
The following list provides information about our manufacturing facilities within each of our four reportable business segments as of January 31, 2021:
Cardinal, Ontario, Canada
London, Ontario, Canada
Shandong Province, China
Cornwala, Jaranwala, Pakistan
Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada
Balsa Nova, Brazil
Rakh Canal, Faisalabad, Pakistan
San Juan del Rio, Queretaro, Mexico
Mehran, Jarnshoro, Pakistan
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Icheon, South Korea
Goole, United Kingdom (b)
Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico
São Goncalo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Incheon, South Korea
Oxnard, California, U.S.(a)
Ban Kao Dien, Thailand
Idaho Falls, Idaho, U.S.
Bedford Park, Illinois, U.S.
Mapleton, Illinois, U.S.
Banglen, Thailand (a)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.
Fort Fairfield, Maine, U.S.
Belcamp, Maryland, U.S.
North Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
South Sioux City, Nebraska, U.S.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.
Salem, Oregon, U.S.
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Richland, Washington, U.S.
Moses Lake, Washington, U.S.
Plover, Wisconsin, U.S.
|(a)||Facility is leased.|
|(b)||Facility is partially owned and partially leased.|
We believe our manufacturing facilities are sufficient to meet our current production needs. We conduct preventive maintenance and de-bottlenecking programs designed to further improve grind capacity and facility reliability.
We have electricity co-generation facilities at our manufacturing facilities in London, Ontario, Canada; Cardinal, Ontario, Canada; Bedford Park, Illinois; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; San Juan del Rio, Queretaro and Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico; Cali, Colombia; Cornwala, Jaranwala, Pakistan; and Balsa Nova and Mogi-Guacu, Brazil. These facilities provide electricity at a lower cost than is available from third parties. We generally own and operate the co-generation facilities, except for the facilities at our Mexico City and Brazil locations, which are owned by, and operated pursuant to co-generation agreements with third parties.
In recent years, we have made significant capital expenditures to update, expand and improve our facilities. Total cash paid for capital expenditures and mechanical stores was $340 million in 2020. We expect that these capital expenditures will allow us to operate efficient facilities for the foreseeable future.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
In 2015 and 2016, the Company self-reported certain monitoring and recordkeeping issues relating to environmental regulatory matters involving its Indianapolis, Indiana manufacturing facility. In September 2017, following inspections and the provision by the Company of requested information to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA"), the EPA issued the Company a Notice of Violation, which included additional alleged violations beyond those self-reported by the Company. These additional alleged violations primarily relate to the results of stack testing at the facility. No individual allegation in the Notice of Violation, whether from the self-reported information, the inspections or the additional requested information, is material to us. The EPA has referred the overall matter to the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division (the "DOJ"). The DOJ and the Company began discussions with respect to this matter in September 2020. Negotiations between the Company and the DOJ with respect to the Notice of Violation are continuing and no litigation has been initiated with respect to the Notice of Violation.
We are currently subject to claims and suits arising in the ordinary course of business, including those relating to labor matters, certain environmental proceedings, and commercial claims. We also routinely receive inquiries from regulators and other government authorities relating to various aspects of our business, including with respect to compliance with laws and regulations relating to the environment, and at any given time, we have matters at various stages of resolution with the applicable governmental authorities. The outcomes of these matters are not within our complete control and may not be known for prolonged periods of time. We do not believe that the results of currently known legal proceedings and inquires will be material to us. There can be no assurance, however, that such claims, suits or investigations or those arising in the future, whether taken individually or in the aggregate, will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Trading: Shares of our common stock are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “INGR.”
Holders: The number of active stockholders of record of our common stock was 3,491 at January 31, 2021.
Dividends: We have a history of paying quarterly dividends. The amount and timing of the dividend payment, if any, is based on a number of factors including estimated earnings, financial position and cash flow. The payment of a dividend, as well as the amount of any dividend, is solely at the discretion of our Board of Directors. Future dividend payments will be subject to our financial results and the availability of funds and statutory surplus to pay dividends.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities: The following provides information about our stock repurchase program.
Total Number of
Dollar Value) of
Shares Purchased as
Shares That May Yet
Part of Publicly
be Purchased Under
Announced Plans or
the Plans or Programs
(shares in thousands)
at End of Period
October 1 – October 31, 2020
November 1 – November 30, 2020
December 1 – December 31, 2020
On October 22, 2018, the Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program permitting us to purchase up to 8.0 million of our outstanding shares of common stock from November 5, 2018 through December 31, 2023. At December 31, 2020, we have 5.9 million shares available for repurchase under our current stock repurchase program.
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
Selected financial data is provided below.
(in millions, except per share amounts)
Summary of operations:
Net income attributable to Ingredion
Net earnings per common share of Ingredion:
Cash dividends declared per common share of Ingredion
Balance sheet data:
Property, plant and equipment, net
Total equity (i)
Shares outstanding, year end
Depreciation and amortization
Mechanical stores expense
Capital expenditures and mechanical stores purchases
|(a)||Includes PureCircle Limited (“PureCircle”) from July 1, 2020 forward.|
|(b)||Includes Western Polymer LLC (“Western Polymer”) from March 1, 2019 forward.|
|(c)||Includes TIC Gums Incorporated at December 31, 2016 for balance sheet data only.|
|(d)||Includes after-tax restructuring expenses of $75 million, including $19 million of net restructuring related expenses as part of our Cost Smart Cost of sales program, $19 million of employee-related and other costs, including professional services, associated with our Cost Smart Selling, General and Administrative program (“Cost Smart SG&A”), $27 million from an impairment of an indefinite lived tradename intangible asset, and a $10 million impairment of an equity method investment. Additionally, includes after-tax income of $27 million related to Brazil tax items, after-tax expense of $17 million related to other matters and $9 million of after-tax and after-non-controlling interests acquisition/integration expenses.|
|(e)||Includes after-tax restructuring expenses of $44 million, including $22 million of net restructuring related expenses as part of our Cost Smart Cost of sales program and $22 million of employee-related and other costs, including professional services, associated with our Cost Smart SG&A program. Additionally, includes after-tax income of $11 million related to Brazil tax items, after-tax expense of $3 million related to other matters and $2 million of after-tax acquisition/integration expenses.|
|(f)||Includes after-tax restructuring charges of $51 million consisting of costs associated with the Cost Smart Cost of sales program in relation to the cessation of wet-milling at the Stockton, California manufacturing facility, employee-related severance and other costs in relation to the Cost Smart SG&A program, other costs related to the North America Finance Transformation initiative, and other costs related to abandonment of certain assets related to our leaf extraction process in Brazil. Additionally, includes after-tax charge of $3 million to the provision for income taxes related to the enactment of the TCJA in December 2017.|
|(g)||Includes after-tax restructuring charges of $31 million consisting of employee-related severance and other costs associated with the restructuring in Argentina, restructuring charges related to the abandonment of certain assets related to our leaf extraction process in Brazil, employee-related severance and other costs associated with the Finance Transformation initiative, and other restructuring charges including employee-related severance costs in North America and a refinement of estimates for prior year restructuring activities. Additionally, includes after-tax charge of $23 million to the provision for income taxes related to the enactment of the TCJA in December 2017, $6 million related to the flow-through of costs primarily associated with the sale of TIC Gums inventory that was adjusted to fair value at the acquisition date in accordance with business combination accounting rules, and $3 million associated with the integration of acquired operations, partially offset by a tax benefit of $10 million due to deductible foreign exchange loss resulting from the tax settlement between the U.S. and Canada, and a $6 million after-tax gain from an insurance settlement primarily related to capital reconstruction.|
|(h)||Includes after-tax restructuring charges of $14 million consisting of employee severance-related charges and other costs associated with the execution of global IT outsourcing contracts, severance-related costs attributable to our optimization initiatives in North America and South America, and additional charges pertaining to our 2015 Port Colborne, Canada manufacturing facility sale. Additionally, includes after-tax costs of $2 million associated with the integration of acquired operations and $27 million associated with an income tax matter.|
|(i)||Includes non-controlling interest.|
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
We are a major supplier of high-quality food and industrial ingredient solutions to customers around the world. We have 46 manufacturing facilities located in North America, South America, Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”), and we manage and operate our businesses at a regional level. We believe this approach provides us with a unique understanding of the cultures and product requirements in each of the geographic markets in which we operate, bringing added value to our customers. Our ingredients are used by customers in the food, beverage, brewing, and animal feed industries, among others.
Our strategic growth roadmap is based on five growth platforms and is designed to deliver shareholder value by accelerating customer co-creation and enabling consumer-preferred innovation. Our first platform is starch-based texturizers, the second platform is clean and simple ingredients, the third platform is plant-based proteins, the fourth platform is sugar reduction and specialty sweeteners, and finally, our fifth platform is value-added food systems.
Critical success factors in our business include managing our manufacturing costs, including costs for corn, other raw materials, and utilities. In addition, our global operations expose us to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. We use derivative financial instruments, when appropriate, for the purpose of minimizing the risks and costs associated with fluctuations in certain raw material and energy costs, foreign exchange rates, and interest rates. The capital intensive nature of our business requires that we generate significant cash flow over time in order to selectively reinvest in our operations and grow organically, as well as to expand through strategic acquisitions and alliances. We utilize certain key financial metrics relating to return on invested capital and financial leverage to monitor our progress toward achieving our strategic business objectives (see section entitled “Key Financial Performance Metrics”).
For the year ended December 31, 2020, operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per common share declined from 2019 levels. The decreases were attributable primarily to reductions in volumes driven by government-mandated shutdowns associated with COVID-19, particularly in the Americas, increased restructuring and impairment charges associated with the impairments of an indefinite-lived intangible asset and an equity method investment, and the results of the acquired operations of PureCircle Limited (“PureCircle”). The declines were partially offset by the benefit from Brazilian tax matters.
COVID-19: Our operations in recent periods have been adversely affected by impacts of COVID-19. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and on March 13, 2020 the United States declared a national emergency with respect to COVID-19. Our global operations expose us to risks associated with public health crises, including pandemics such as COVID-19. Foreign governmental organizations and governmental organizations at the national, state and local levels in the United States have taken various actions to combat the spread of COVID-19, including imposing stay-at-home orders and closing “non-essential” businesses and their operations. As a manufacturer of food ingredients, our operations are considered “essential” under most current COVID-19 government regulations, and our facilities are operating globally. We did not experience any material supply chain interruptions during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 and were able to continue to operate and ship products from our global network of manufacturing facilities without material interruptions. We experienced sales volume decline in the second and third quarters of 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts on consumer mobility and consumption. We place top priority on our employees’ health and safety and continue to follow the advice and the guidelines of public health authorities for physical distancing and to make available personal protective equipment and sanitization supplies.
The Company anticipates continued impacts from COVID-19 on net sales volume across our operating segments in the first quarter of 2021. We are monitoring COVID-19 infection rates as well as the pace and effectiveness of vaccination rollouts, as the net sales volume is generally correlated with increased consumer activity and availability of food and beverages consumed away from home.
Restructuring and Impairment Charges: In July 2018, we announced a $125 million savings target for our Cost Smart program, designed to improve profitability, further streamline our global business, and deliver increased value to stockholders. We set Cost Smart savings targets to include an anticipated $75 million in Cost of sales savings, including freight, and $50 million in anticipated SG&A savings by year-end 2021. Since the program’s inception, we have periodically updated our savings targets and we now expect to deliver $170 million in total savings by year-end 2021.
Our Cost Smart program and other initiatives resulted in restructuring charges in 2020. For the year ended December 31, 2020, we recorded a total of $48 million of pre-tax restructuring charges related to these programs, a decrease of $9 million from the restructuring charges recorded for 2019. We recorded $25 million of restructuring charges for our Cost Smart SG&A program, primarily related to professional service costs in North America during the year, and $23 million of restructuring charges for our Cost Smart Cost of sales program, primarily related to facility and product line closures during the year.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, we also recorded $45 million of pre-tax impairment charges, including a $35 million charge related to an impairment of our indefinite-lived intangible asset associated with the TIC Gums tradename and a $10 million other-than-temporary impairment of our equity method investment in Verdient Foods Inc (“Verdient).
Storm Damage Costs: We incurred storm damage to the Cedar Rapids, Iowa manufacturing facility, which was shut down for ten days in August 2020. The storm-related damage resulted in $3 million of charges during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020. We recorded the storm damage costs within Other expense (income), net on the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income.
Liquidity and Capital Resources: Our cash provided by operating activities increased to $829 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, from $680 million in the prior year primarily due to changes in working capital. Our cash used by investing activities increased to $571 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, from $374 million in the prior year primarily due to the acquisition of a controlling interest in PureCircle. Our cash provided by financing activities was $143 million during the year ended December 31, 2020, while our cash used for financing activities was $364 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. This change was primarily due to our sale of $1 billion of senior notes during the year ended December 31, 2020, offset by payments on debt maturities during the year.
We currently expect that our available cash balances, future cash flow from operations, access to debt markets, and borrowing capacity under our credit facilities will provide us with sufficient liquidity to fund our anticipated capital expenditures, dividends, and other investing and financing activities for at least the next 12 months and for the foreseeable future thereafter. Our future cash flow needs will depend on many factors, including our rate of revenue growth, the timing and extent of our expansion into new markets, the timing of introductions of new products, potential acquisitions of complementary businesses and technologies, continuing market acceptance of our new products, and general economic and market conditions. We may need to raise additional capital or incur indebtedness to fund our needs for less predictable strategic initiatives, such as acquisitions.
Results of Operations
We have significant operations in four reporting segments: North America, South America, Asia-Pacific and EMEA. For most of our foreign subsidiaries, the local foreign currency is the functional currency. Accordingly, revenues and expenses denominated in the functional currencies of these subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars at the applicable average exchange rates for the period. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates affect the U.S. dollar amounts of our foreign subsidiaries’ revenues and expenses.
We acquired a controlling interest in PureCircle on July 1, 2020, acquired Verdient on November 3, 2020, and Western Polymer LLC (“Western Polymer”) on March 1, 2019. The results of the acquired businesses are included in our consolidated financial results from the respective acquisition dates forward. While we identify fluctuations due to the acquisitions, our discussion below also addresses results of operations excluding the impact of the acquisitions and the results of the acquired businesses, where appropriate, to provide a more comparable and meaningful analysis.
2020 Compared to 2019 – Consolidated
Year Ended December 31,
Cost of sales
Other income, net
Financing costs, net
Other, non-operating expense/(income), net
Income before income taxes
Provision for income taxes
Less: Net income attributable to non-controlling interests
Net income attributable to Ingredion
Net Income attributable to Ingredion. Net income attributable to Ingredion for 2020 decreased to $348 million from $413 million in 2019. The decrease in net income was largely attributable to lower sales volumes in North America, increased restructuring and impairment charges primarily related to impairments of an indefinite-lived intangible asset and an other-than-temporary impairment of our equity method investment in Verdient, and the inclusion of the results of the acquired operations of PureCircle. These effects were partially offset by an increased benefit from the Brazilian tax matter compared to 2019.
Net sales. Net sales were down 4 percent for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. The decrease in full-year net sales was driven by sales volume declines in North America and South America, related primarily to COVID-19 shutdowns in the second and third quarters.
Cost of sales. Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2020 was down 4 percent when compared to 2019, primarily due to the reduction in net sales. Our gross profit margin was flat at 21 percent for the years ended December 31, 2020, and 2019.
Operating expenses. Operating expenses increased 3 percent for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase was primarily driven by higher corporate costs due to continued investments to drive business and digital transformations. Operating expenses, as a percentage of gross profit, were 49 percent for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to 46 percent for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Other income, net. Our change in other income, net for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was as follows:
Year Ended December 31,
Brazil tax matters
Other (income) expense, net
In 2019 the Company received a favorable judgment from the Federal Court of Appeals in Brazil related to certain indirect taxes collected in prior years. To account for the judgment, the Company recorded a $22 million pre-tax benefit, in accordance with ASC 450, Contingencies, for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2019. In 2020, the Company received another favorable court judgment that further clarifies the calculation of the Company's benefit, resulting in a larger indirect tax claim against the government. As a result, the Company recorded an additional $35 million in pre-tax benefits during the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020. The Company expects to be entitled to credits against its Brazilian federal tax payments in 2021 and future years. The total benefit recorded represents the Company's current estimate of the credits and interest due from the favorable decisions in accordance with ASC 450, Contingencies.
Additionally, during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company recorded a pre-tax benefit of $1 million related to the reversal of a tax decision on a government subsidy on which the Company had previously paid taxes. The Company also recorded a $3 million tax provision benefit related to this decision.
Financing costs, net. Our financing costs, net for the year ended December 31, 2020 were flat compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, driven by a reduction in interest expense, partly offset by foreign currency losses.
Provision for income taxes. Our effective income tax rates for the years ended December 31, 2020, and 2019 were 30.0 percent and 27.1 percent, respectively.
The increase in the effective income tax rate was driven by a change in the mix of earnings, including the consolidation of PureCircle, certain one-time items in the year-over-year results and, a decline in the value of the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar. These items were partially offset by a reduction in our U.S. global intangible low-taxed income (“GILTI”) in accordance with final regulations issued by the U.S. Treasury Department under the TCJA and utilization of previously unbenefited net operating losses compared to a valuation allowance build in the year-ago period.
Net income attributable to non-controlling interests. Net income attributable to non-controlling interests for the year ended December 31, 2020, decreased by 45 percent compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. The decrease was attributable to net losses associated with the acquisition of a controlling interest in PureCircle.
2020 Compared to 2019 – North America
Year Ended December 31,
Net sales to unaffiliated customers
Net sales. Our decrease in net sales of 4 percent for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was driven by a 5 percent decrease in volume, partially offset by a 1 percent improvement in price/product mix.
Operating income. Our operating income decreased $35 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. The decrease was driven by significantly lower away-from-home food and beverage consumption across the region and a government-mandated shutdown of brewery customers in Mexico in
the second quarter related to COVID-19 impacts, partially offset by lower net corn costs and favorable price mix in the fourth quarter.
2020 Compared to 2019 – South America
Year Ended December 31,
Net sales to unaffiliated customers
Net sales. Our decrease in net sales of 4 percent for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was driven by a decrease in foreign currency values against the U.S. dollar of 15 percent and a 1 percent decrease in volume, partially offset by a 12 percent increase in price/product mix.
Operating income. Our increase in operating income of $16 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was due to strong price mix, which was partially offset by unfavorable foreign currency impacts and lower sales volumes.
2020 Compared to 2019 – Asia-Pacific
Year Ended December 31,
Net sales to unaffiliated customers
Net sales. Our decrease in net sales of 1 percent for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was driven by unfavorable volumes of 2 percent and unfavorable price/ product mix of 2 percent, partially offset by inclusion of PureCircle results.
Operating income. Our decrease in operating income of $7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was driven by inclusion of PureCircle results, which reduced full-year operating income by $11 million.
2020 Compared to 2019 – EMEA
Year Ended December 31,