CHICAGO — Ardent Mills in the second quarter ended Nov. 27, 2022, saw strong results once again, in line with earnings recorded in the previous several quarters, according to a Form 10-Q filing by Conagra Brands, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Conagra, which owns a 44% stake in Ardent Mills, had equity method investment earnings of $49.3 million in the second quarter, up 67% from $29.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. The results were in line with those of the previous several quarters — $49.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, $47.5 million in the final quarter of fiscal 2022 and $48.1 million in the third quarter.
Year-to-date equity method investment earnings at Conagra were $98.5 million, up 98% from $49.7 million in the first half of fiscal 2023.
In a call with analysts Jan. 5, David S. Marberger, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the company’s adjusted gross margin during the quarter improved by 650 basis points.“The increase in adjusted gross profit, combined with another strong performance from our Ardent Mills joint venture, contributed to adjusted EBITDA growth of 21.5%,” Mr. Marberger said. Similarly, a 27% improvement in adjusted earnings per share for Conagra “was primarily driven by higher sales and gross profit as well as a small benefit from a continued strong performance from Ardent Mills,” he said.