Ardent Mills
Photo courtesy of Ardent Mills.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Earnings after taxes of Ardent Mills LLC in the year ended May 27 were $197 million, up 30% from $152 million in fiscal 2017. Ardent Mills sales were $3.344.1 billion, up 5% from $3.180 billion.

Ardent Mills financial results were included in the Form 10-K annual report of Conagra Brands, Inc., Chicago, filed July 20 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A condensed balance sheet for Denver-based Ardent Mills, included in the Conagra report, estimated Ardent Mills assets as of May 27 at $2.650.3 billion, up $18.9 million, or 0.7%, from a year earlier. Liabilities were estimated at $866.5 million, down $103.5 million, or 11%, from the year before. The figures indicate net equity of $1.783.8 billion as of May 27, up $122.3 million, or 7%, from a year earlier.

Conagra said its share of profits from its equity method investment earnings were $97.4 million in fiscal 2018, up 37% from $71.2 million in fiscal 2017. Results in fiscal 2018 included a $4.3 million benefit to Conagra in connection with a “gain on the substantial liquidation of an international joint venture.”

“In addition, Ardent Mills earnings were higher than they were in the prior-year periods due to more favorable market conditions and continued improvement in operating effectiveness,” Conagra said.

Ardent Mills represents the largest part of Conagra’s equity method investments. Ardent’s $197 million of profits after taxes account for 95% of $207.1 million in after-tax income earned by all of Conagra’s investments reported separately.

Conagra holds a 44% stake of Ardent Mills and 50% ownership of its other joint ventures. Conagra received dividends from equity method investments inf fiscal 2017 of $62.5 million. A year earlier, the company’s dividends were $68.2 million.

Conagra had purchases of $34.9 million from equity method investees in fiscal 2018, down from $41.8 million in fiscal 2017.

Other owners of Ardent Mills include Cargill (44% stake) and CHS, Inc. (12%).