CHS reports 56% increase in first-quarter earnings

by World Grain Staff
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ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, U.S. — CHS Inc. reported on Jan. 7 net income of $378.7 million for the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year, an increase of 56% from a year ago.

Earnings for the period Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, 2014, increased 56% from $242.2 million recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. The increase was largely attributed to stronger refining margins in the company's energy business. Revenues for the quarter were $9.5 billion, down from $11 billion for the same period in fiscal 2014, primarily due to decreased average grain selling prices.

Fiscal 2015 first quarter earnings for the CHS Ag segment – which includes its domestic and global grain and crop nutrients businesses, renewable fuels, local retail operations and processing and food ingredients – increased slightly over the same period a year ago. This was primarily due to strong grain handling logistics within both retail and wholesale operations. CHS renewable fuels manufacturing, marketing and distribution also recorded results ahead of the first quarter of fiscal 2014, while processing and food ingredients operations reported lower year-over-year earnings for the quarter.

Fiscal 2015 first quarter earnings for the company's Energy segment increased over the same period a year ago, reflecting strong performance by CHS refined fuels business, along with increased earnings for its lubricants and transportation operations. Propane earnings declined from the same period a year ago as a result of a delayed harvest and reduced grain drying during the first quarter.

CHS reports earnings for its business services and its food-related joint ventures under Corporate and Other. Combined earnings for CHS hedging, finance and insurance businesses declined slightly during the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2014. Earnings for the quarter increased over the same period a year ago for the CHS share of food manufacturer and distributor Ventura Foods, LLC, but declined for its share of earnings from wheat milling joint ventures.

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