CHICAGO — Following a weak first quarter, financial results improved at Ardent Mills L.L.C. in the second quarter, based on a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Conagra Brands, Inc.
According to the Form 10-Q filed Jan. 3, equity method investment earnings of Conagra in the second quarter ended Nov. 25, 2018, were $37.7 million, up from $20.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2018.
The quarterly results included a $15.1 million gain ($11.6 million after taxes) from the sale of an asset by the Ardent Mills joint venture.
For the first half of fiscal 2019, Conagra’s equity method investment earnings were $53.9 million, up from $50.6 million.
Commenting on the financial results, Conagra said “improved operational efficiencies and market conditions” accounted for the better second-quarter performance. Adjusted for the asset sales, year-to-date earnings were significantly lower than in the first half of fiscal 2018.
The company did not elaborate on the gain from the asset sale. Ardent in October said it was selling its Tampa, Fla., flour mill and would build a new mill in Florida. Local media reports in Florida last October said Ardent Mills had agreed to sell the mill to developers for about $13 million and that the city of Tampa was paying Ardent Mills $2.25 million in exchange for the company to give up certain rail rights.
Conagra holds a 44% stake in Denver-based Ardent Mills, which is a joint venture of Conagra, Cargill and CHS.