CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, US – Equity method investment earnings of Conagra Brands, Inc. were sharply higher in the first quarter ended Aug. 29.

In a 10-Q filed Oct. 7 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Conagra Brands said equity method investment earnings during the quarter were $20.2 million, up 211% from $6.5 million during the same period a year earlier. The fiscal 2022 first-quarter profits were up 64% from $12.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. The latter period, though, included a one-time gain of $5.4 million associated with the sale of an Ardent Mills asset.

Conagra said “favorable market conditions” were responsible for the strong Ardent Mills earnings.

In other comments in the filing, Conagra said during fiscal 2021, the company completed a restructuring of its ownership interest in the Ardent Mills joint venture. Conagra said the move allowed the company to use a portion of a capital loss carryforward before it expired.

Conagra Brands and Cargill each own 44% of Ardent Mills, the largest milling company in the United States, with CHS the owner of the remaining 12%. Conagra Brands continues to report as part of its continuing operations its share of Ardent Mills earnings.