Lantmännen revealed a strategic review into the "fundamental change" that transformations in world food demand dynamics are posing to its business, even as it unveiled a jump in headline profits.
The Swedish agricultural co-operative - owned by 33,500 farmers, and which employs 8,600 people – highlighted the contrast between a slow-growing domestic market and the fast expansion in Asia, which was changing dynamics in areas including agriculture.
"Rising demand in emerging economies such as China and India is increasingly important for the markets in which Lantmännen operates – particularly the grain market," Peter Olof Nyman, the co-operative's chief executive, said.
"The global imbalance in supply and demand for grain has created a highly volatile price scenario, which can also be observed in Europe and Sweden."
Such trends "represent a fundamental change for many of Lantmännen's businesses, which is something we need to adapt to", Mr Nyman said, revealing a "long-term strategy review" expected to report next year.
The comments came as Lantmännen unveiled a tripling in earnings, to SEK562m, in the four months to the end of August, from SEK167m a year before.
However, excluding one-off factors, the rise increase in earnings, on revenues down 10.5% at SEK11.0bn, was a more modest 45% to SEK446m.
The growth reflected rising profits in food, and in agriculture, despite a dent to its feed operations from the Brazilian logistical difficulties which had hampered imports of, non-GMO, soybeans from the South American country.
"GMO-free soybeans are an important source of protein in Lantmännen's feed, and a lack of this raw material has led to increased purchase costs and commodity prices," and left profitability in the feed operations "under pressure".
'Good quality harvest'
However, the performance in agriculture, in which operating profits rose 8% to SEK67m despite a 1.4% fall to SEK 3.06bn in revenues, was helped by a "well implemented harvest".
"The three newly opened grain receiving facilities have been appreciated by both new and existing customers, and this year's harvest is of good quality with low water content and high protein levels."
The Lantmännen machinery division reported a 17% drop to SEK127m in operating profits, on sales down 2% at SEK3.31bn, undermined by a Swedish tractor market which has "continued to decline" – contracting by 12% so far in 2013.
"Despite improved profitability for milk producers, willingness to invest in agriculture has not increased," the co-operative said.
Mr Nyman said: "Demand in the machinery market remains low," although there were signs that it has "bottomed out".