CHS Inc. Reports Strong 2008

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- CHS Inc. attributed strong 2008 performance to maintaining financial stability and disciplined growth during a period of unprecedented market volatility, company leaders said in a recent release.

"After five consecutive years of record results -- the combination of our own hard work, growth and what the market has handed us -- we must be realistic and ready to respond," said John Johnson, president and chief executive officer. "Our core philosophy is to maintain a conservative approach to operating our business, preserve an unwavering commitment to a strong balance sheet, retain the ability to respond to market changes, and pursue growth within our means."

Johnson made his remarks to 2,600 owners and guests gathered Dec. 4-5, 2008, for the cooperative's annual meeting, which carried the theme "On," at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

CHS established a comprehensive process for analyzing and responding to market factors impacting its business operations, which will help the company successfully adapt to a broad range of change, Johnson said.

In late November, the company reported record fiscal 2008 results, with net income of $803 million on revenues of $32.2 billion -- the fifth consecutive record year for both financial benchmarks. For fiscal 2007, CHS recorded net income of $756.7 million on revenues of $17.2 billion.

"Amid all of the uncertainty in the marketplace, CHS is performing well, has a very strong balance sheet and is positioned to continue delivering value for the future,” John Schmitz, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a released statement.

CHS Board Chairman Michael Toelle, a Browns Valley, Minn., farmer, said the ultimate measure of the company's success and the board of director's oversight will be "how we put CHS on the road to returning value for new generations. We recognize that the achievements and financial success of 2008 began with leadership and decisions made years ago. Our commitment is to make certain this company is successful in the years ahead."

Among CHS highlights for fiscal 2008:

-- Completion of a major new unit, including a coker, at its Laurel, Mont., refinery, which increases gasoline and diesel production by 150 million gallons a year. Two new Montana refined terminals also were finished to expand distribution capabilities.

-- Acquisition of the Zip Trip convenience store chain based in Spokane, Wash., adding 33 additional outlets to the more than 1,600 now carrying the company's Cenex fuel brand.

-- Establishment of CHS Business Solutions Consulting, providing member cooperatives and other customers with strategic planning, placement and educational resources.
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