Strong commodity prices contribute to 63% rise in CHS earnings

by Melissa Alexander
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All financial results reported in U.S. dollars.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — CHS Inc., a U.S. energy, grains and foods company, has reported net income of $59.3 million for the first six months of fiscal 2004.

The earnings for the Sept. 1, 2003 to Feb. 29, 2004 period represent an increase of 63% over net income of $36.2 million for the same period in fiscal 2003. Sales for the current year's six-month period were $5.1 billion, up 9% over $4.7 billion in the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Earnings for the Dec. 1, 2003 to Feb. 29, 2004 second quarter were $8.5 million, compared with a loss of $4.1 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2003.

The sales increases for both the six-month period and the second quarter were largely attributed to record prices for commodity grain and continued strong prices for energy, two of the company's core business areas.

Earnings for the six months reflected strong performance in refined fuels, grain marketing and oilseed processing, as well as earnings from Ventura Foods, LLC, the vegetable oil-based foods company of which CHS owns 50%. Results for the period also represented improved performance in agronomy, wheat milling and Mexican foods, the company said.