Profits of Ardent Mills LLC rose sharply in the three months ended Feb. 26.
Equity method investment earnings at Conagra totaled $21.8 million in the third quarter ended Feb. 26, Conagra said in a 10-Q filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The earnings were up 153% from $8.6 million in the third quarter last year. Year-to-date earnings were higher too.
“The increases are reflective of higher profits from the Ardent Mills joint venture due to more favorable wheat market conditions as well as improved operational effectiveness,” Conagra said.
Year-to-date equity method investment earnings were $52.1 million, versus $50.7 million in the first three quarters of fiscal 2016.
In its second quarter 10-Q, Conagra said equity investment earnings were $17.2 million for the period ended Nov. 27, versus $17.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. First quarter equity investment earnings were $23.6 million, down 36% from $37 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
Established in May 2014, Ardent Mills is a partnership of Conagra, Cargill and CHS, Inc. Conagra and Cargill each own 44% of Ardent, and CHS owns 12%. Ardent is the largest flour milling company in the United States.