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Sales Up, Earnings Down at CHS

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- CHS Inc., a diversified energy, grains and foods company, reported net income of $133.7 million through the first nine months of its 2005 fiscal year.

The nine-month results compare with net income of $140.6 million for the same period in fiscal 2004. Sales through the end of the third quarter were $8.4 billion, compared with $7.9 billion a year ago.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2005, CHS reported net income of $106.9 million, compared with $81.4 million for the same period in fiscal 2004. Sales for the quarter were $3.1 billion, an increase from $2.8 billion the previous year.

In addition to refining, wholesaling and reselling refined fuels, CHS owns the c-store chain Cenex, with more than 800 stores under the Cenex and Ampride banners.

Year-to-date 2005 results reflect continued strong performances in the company's energy segment. CHS reported a decline in earnings within its Processing segment, largely attributed to market conditions within its own oilseed processing and joint venture wheat milling operations. During the third quarter, the company sold four of its Mexican foods production plants and closed a fifth.

Year-to-date earnings for fiscal 2005 include a first quarter $35 million pre-tax impairment to the company's agronomy business related to its investment in CF Industries, a domestic fertilizer manufacturer. The impairment resulted from an adjustment to the value of the investment and had no effect on CHS cash flows. CHS net income for the first nine months of fiscal 2005, before the effect of the impairment, was $165.8 million compared with $140.6 million for the same nine-month period in 2004.
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