'Favorable market conditions' cited.

CHICAGO — Equity method investment earnings at Conagra Brands, Inc. in the second quarter ended Nov. 26, 2017, were $20.6 million, up 20% from $17.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017.

The results, largely reflecting profits at Ardent Mills, L.L.C., were included in Conagra’s Form 10-Q filed Jan. 4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Conagra’s net income in the second quarter was $223.5 million.

For the six months ended Nov. 26, Conagra equity method investment earnings were $50.6 million, up 67% from $30.3 million in the first half of fiscal 2017.

“Ardent Mills earnings were higher than they were in the prior-year periods due to more favorable market conditions and continued improvement in operating effectiveness,” Conagra said.

Ardent Mills was established in May 2014 through the combined North American Milling operations of ConAgra Foods and Horizon Milling (a joint venture of Cargill and CHS). Conagra holds a 44% stake in Ardent Mills. In fiscal 2017, Ardent Mills accounted for 94% of Conagra’s equity method investment earnings.