CHS Reports Long-Term Direction at Annual Meeting

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CHS Reports Long-Term Direction at Annual Meeting

MINNEAPOLIS -- CHS Inc. President and CEO John Johnson reported the company, distributor of the CENEX brand of fuels, has a solid financial and strategic foundation to craft long-term success at the company's annual meeting.

"We must look far, far ahead and ask ourselves what CHS needs to be and where we must go 10 and even 20 years from now," Johnson said in a released statement. "Our objective is to create long-term enterprise value for our owners, customers, employees and the others stakeholders in a rapidly evolving global marketplace."

Johnson and other company leaders addressed more than 2,500 CHS member-owners who gathered Dec. 3-4, at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the cooperative's annual meeting, with the event theme of "Perspective."

Johnson reported on progress of the company's five key initiatives -- maximizing existing businesses; making strategic acquisitions; expanding its global footprint; strengthening the synergies among its businesses; and creating CHS brand awareness -- and focused on the long-term direction of the company.

In November, CHS reported its fourth-best earnings in its nearly 80 years with net income of $381.4 million for fiscal 2009, compared with a record $803 million for fiscal 2008, a year during which record prices were seen for the energy, grain, crop nutrients and food products the company handles.

Additionally, revenues for fiscal 2009 were $25.7 billion, down from $32.2 billion the previous year. During fiscal 2010, based on fiscal 2009 results, CHS will distribute an estimated $220 million in cash to its owners, its fourth-largest return.

Chief Financial Officer John Schmitz said the diversity of the CHS business portfolio allowed the company to achieve overall strong performance even as some of its operations grappled with the weak global economy in 2009.

"The strong CHS financial foundation we've built in recent years has served us well and positions this company to take advantage of new opportunities," Schmitz said in a released statement.

For fiscal 2009, CHS operations highlights included:

-- Strengthening grain origination presence in the Black Sea region through joint ventures in state-of-the-art port facilities at Odessa, Ukraine, and Novorossiysk, Russia.
-- Opening a grain office in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
-- Completing two refined fuels terminals at Missoula and Logan, Mont., to meet needs of customers in the region.
-- Acquiring a major Mississippi River terminal, CHS Winona (Minn.) River and Rail, to boost crop nutrients distribution efficiencies in the region.
-- Forming Wabash Valley Grain, LLC, with Superior Ag of Huntington, Ind., to create the CHS system's first origination point on Ohio River.

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