CHS Inc. said Thursday it fiscal first-quarter profit jumped 85 percent, shaped by a strong performance in its energy division that includes refineries and Cenex stations.
The agriculture co-op and energy processor earned $347.1 million in the three months ended Nov. 30. Revenue rose about 5 percent to $8.5 billion.
Executives mostly credited improved crude oil prices that led to higher margins for refined fuels. The company’s energy division posted a $112 million increase in profits. Profit growth in the ag and fertilizer segments was more modest.
“Our strong first quarter results position us well as we start our 2019 fiscal year,” Chief Executive Jay Debertin said in a statement.
The results covered a period when executives discovered an employee deliberately inflated profits on a financial product over several years. The scandal forced CHS to examine its financial statements over a five-year period and restate them, lowering its profits over the period by $158 million.
The difficulty did not affect its current results, but Debertin alluded to it his statement in which he declared CHS will continue to invest in new technology and meet the changing needs of customers. “We will do this while maintaining financial discipline and rigor,” he said.
The company also announced that in late December, it decided to acquire West Central Distribution, a Willmar, Minn.-based agribusiness company. CHS had owned a 25 percent stake in the distributor, exercised an option to purchase the remaining 75 percent, and is in the process of completing due diligence and satisfying regulatory, legal and other requirements.