CHS Execs Predict Bright Future

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CHS Execs Predict Bright Future

MINNEAPOLIS--Leaders of CHS Inc., an energy, supply and grain-based foods company, told its owners today key business decisions made in fiscal 2005 have positioned the company for long- term success.

"During my nearly 30 years with this organization, I can't remember a year in which we made so many pivotal decisions," John Johnson, CHS president and chief executive officer, told those gathered this week for the cooperative's annual meeting. "That's a reflection not only of the complexity and pace of the world in which we live, but also of the diversity of CHS."

"But no matter where our questions lead us, the final destination must always be the same: Providing added value and the resources for enriching lives for all of our stakeholders."

CHS reported record net income of $250 million on record sales of $11.8 billion in results released in mid-November.

The 2005 CHS Annual Meeting drew more than 2,500 owners and guests to the Minneapolis Convention Center for reports on the company's performance and business highlights.

CHS Chairman Michael Toelle, a Browns Valley, Minn., producer, said while the record results are outstanding on their own, what's more important is what they mean to CHS member-owners. Based on those earnings, beginning in January, CHS expects to return to its owners a record $151 million in cash patronage, equity redemptions and preferred stock, pending the effective date of a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"As we face the innumerable decisions ahead, we are committed to saying 'yes' each day to the values and integrity that have made CHS the outstanding company it is today and to making the choices that will lead this system to even greater future success," Toelle said.

In his financial report, CHS Chief Financial Officer John Schmitz said the company's board and management team remains firmly committed to "achieving the best possible performance from our business operations, maintaining a strong balance sheet, providing a return on owners' investments, and assuring accuracy and complete disclosure in our financial reporting."

"We are equally firm on the factors to which we must say 'no,'" he added. "These include underperforming businesses which do not have potential of providing our owners with a return on their investment and new business proposals or projects that place our healthy balance sheet at risk."