Grain unit boosts The Andersons profit in quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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MAUMEE, OHIO — Net income of The Andersons in the first quarter ended March 31 was $18,407,000, equal to 99c per share on the common stock, up 7% from $17,266,000, or 93c per share, in the first quarter last year. Sales were $1,137,133,000, up 14% from $1,001,674,000.

The Grain Group’s operating income in the quarter was $19,435,000, up 29% from $15,101,000 in the first quarter last year. The Grain division benefited from strong space income and good first-quarter earnings from the investment in Lansing Trade Group. Sales in the division rose 10% to $699,861,000 from $637,967,000. Sales increased behind a slight gain in both the average grain price and bushels sold.

Operating income within the Anderson’s Ethanol division fell 97% to $121,000 from $3,571,000. The decrease reflected a decline in earnings from the company’s ethanol investment affiliates, whose income was affected negatively by lower ethanol margins resulting from increased industry production and lower demand led by declining exports. Sales in the division rose to $150,670,000 from $132,748,000.

“Our agricultural businesses continue to perform well,” said Mike Anderson, chief executive officer. “Although we will not see the same wheat basis gains we did last year, we are pleased with the year-to-date corn planting progress, on what is expected to be an approximate 96-million-acre crop.”

Mr. Anderson said the company expects the second quarter to be challenging, primarily due to the expectation of a significant drop in wheat space income in the Grain Group. The company also expects lower margins in both its Ethanol and Plant Nutrient groups, he said.

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