Revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 reached $11.7 billion, compared with $9.7 billion for the first three months of fiscal 2012. This primarily reflected continuing strong values for the energy, grain and crop nutrients products that comprise the majority of CHS business.
Energy segment earnings led the company's performance for the quarter, but declined from the same period a year ago due to reduced margins at CHS refineries in Montana and Kansas. Earnings improved for CHS propane, renewable fuels and transportation businesses, but declined slightly for its lubricants operations.
While soundly profitable, earnings also declined within the CHS Ag segment primarily due to lower margins for the grains and oilseeds the company markets and processes, as well as the crop nutrients it handles. Within the segment, quarter-over-quarter earnings increased for the company's Country Operations retail locations which reported higher volumes for the retail products and grain it handles. The CHS processing and food ingredients businesses also recorded improved margins for its soybean crushing and refining operations.
CHS reports results for its business services operations, as well as two food processing-related joint ventures, under the Corporate and Other category. CHS-owned financing businesses recorded higher earnings for the quarter, which were partially offset by slower hedging activity in the first three months of fiscal 2013. The company's share of earnings from its 50% ownership of Ventura Foods, LLC, a vegetable oil-based food manufacturing business, improved due to stronger margins, while those from its 24% CHS share of Horizon Milling, LLC, the nation's leading wheat miller, remained flat compared to the same period in fiscal 2012.