CHS Inc., the country's largest food cooperative, said Thursday that third-quarter net income more than doubled to $145.4 million, primarily because of strength in its grain and crop-nutrient businesses.

CEO John Johnson called it a "phenomenal performance," saying it was the Inver Grove Heights company's third-best quarter since 1998.

"It was just one of those quarters where everything turned around for us and built on our ag business area," Johnson said.

Revenue increased 6 percent to $6.6 billion. That continued a rebound for the company, which saw profits cut in half in fiscal 2009 as revenue fell by 20 percent.

During last year's third quarter, the company reported net income of $64.6 million on $6.2 billion in revenue.

CHS, an energy, grains and food company, is made up of 1,000 member cooperatives and at least 50,000 individual farmers.

Johnson, 62, announced in June that he will be retiring at the end of the year, and CHS is looking for its next chief executive. Johnson said the company will likely start interviewing candidates for his job by mid-August.

The company's stock closed at $27.79 a share Thursday, down a penny from Wednesday's closing price.

WENDY LEE