CHICAGO — Earnings after taxes of Ardent Mills L.L.C. in the year ended May 27 were $197 million, up 30% from $152 million in fiscal 2017. Ardent Mills sales were $3,344.1 million, up 5% from $3,180 million.
Ardent Mills financial results were included in the Form 10-K annual report of Conagra Brands, Inc., Chicago, filed July 20 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A condensed balance sheet for Denver-based Ardent Mills, included in the Conagra report, estimated Ardent Mills assets as of May 27 at $2,650.3 million, up $18.9 million, or 0.7%, from a year earlier. Liabilities were estimated at $866.5 million, down $103.5 million, or 11%, from the year before. The figures indicate net equity of $1,783.8 million as of May 27, up $122.3 million, or 7%, from a year earlier.
Conagra said its share of profits from its equity method investment earnings were $97.4 million in fiscal 2018, up 37% from $71.2 million in fiscal 2017. Results in fiscal 2018 included a $4.3 million benefit to Conagra in connection with a “gain on the substantial liquidation of an international joint venture.”
“In addition, 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 represents the largest part of Conagra’s equity method investments. Ardent’s $197 million of profits after taxes account for 95% of $207.1 million in after-tax income earned by all of Conagra’s investments reported separately.
Conagra holds a 44% stake of Ardent Mills and 50% ownership of its other joint ventures. Conagra received dividends from equity method investments inf fiscal 2017 of $62.5 million. A year earlier, the company’s dividends were $68.2 million.
Conagra had purchases of $34.9 million from equity method investees in fiscal 2018, down from $41.8 million in fiscal 2017.
Other owners of Ardent Mills include Cargill (44% stake) and CHS, Inc. (12%).