CHS posts record earnings, sales in fiscal 2012

by Eric Schroeder
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ST. PAUL, MINN. — Full-year earnings at CHS Inc. rose to a record $1,260,628,000 in fiscal 2012 ended Aug. 31, up 31% from $961,355,000 in fiscal 2011. CHS said earnings reflected higher values for the energy, crop nutrients, grains and other commodities that make up the majority of the company’s operations.

CHS also set a record for revenues, which increased 10% to $40,599,286,000 from $36,915,834,000 in the same period a year ago.

“The strength of our diverse CHS business portfolio, along with a strong domestic and global footprint, combined in fiscal 2012 to allow us to successfully navigate continued market volatility and deliver record results for the U.S. farmers, ranchers and cooperatives who own us,” said Carl Casale, president and chief executive officer. “Continued strong performance has allowed CHS to invest in growing our business, maintain a strong balance sheet and — most important — return direct economic value to those who own this cooperative.”

The company’s Ag Business segment, which consists of CHS’s agronomy, grain marketing and retail operations, posted operating earnings of $363,648,000 in fiscal 2012, up 9% from $333,363,000 in the same period a year ago. Sales in the segment totaled $28,181,445,000, up 9% from $25,767,033,000 a year ago.

“Our grain marketing earnings decreased by $101.3 million during the year ended Aug. 31, 2012, compared with fiscal 2011, primarily as a result of a pre-tax gain on the sale of our investment in Multigrain AG (Multigrain) of $119.7 million during fiscal 2011,” the company said in a Nov. 7 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “We also experienced decreased grain volumes during fiscal 2012, primarily due to large crops harvested in the Black Sea (region), South America and Australia, which reduced our U.S. grain exports and reduced our earnings. In addition, the fall harvest produced short crops in the U.S., which also negatively impacted our volumes.

“Our processing and food ingredients margins increased, but we experienced a decrease in earnings of $19.2 million for the year ended Aug. 31, 2012, compared to the prior year, primarily related to acquisition costs of $5.7 million as well as additional administrative costs and allocated interest related to our Solbar and Creston acquisitions.”

Energy earnings in fiscal 2012 rose 82% to $1,146,293,000 from $629,986,000, while sales increased 12% to $12,816,542,000 from $11,467,381,000.

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