Earnings for the period September 1-November 30, 2015, declined 30 percent from the same period of fiscal 2015. The decrease was primarily attributed to lower margins for much of the company’s energy and agricultural businesses. Revenues for the quarter were $7.7 billion, down from $9.5 billion for the same period in fiscal 2015, largely due to lower selling prices for the energy and grain products which make up a significant portion of CHS business.
Fiscal 2016 first quarter earnings for the company’s Energy segment declined 31 percent, driven primarily by decreased refining margins as well as declines in CHS lubricants and transportation businesses. These were partially offset by increased propane earnings.
First quarter fiscal 2016 earnings for the CHS Ag segment – which includes its domestic and global grain and crop nutrients businesses, renewable fuels, local retail operations and processing and food ingredients – declined 50 percent over the same period a year ago. This was primarily due to lower logistics performance and margins within CHS grain marketing business, along with decreased grain volumes and margins for the company’s country elevator locations.
Earnings within CHS wholesale crop nutrients business declined in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, also due to decreased margins. Renewable fuels manufacturing, marketing and distribution were lower for the period due to lower ethanol margins which were partially offset by a manufacturing volume increase from a late fiscal 2015 ethanol plant acquisition. CHS processing and food ingredients operations reported increased year-over-year earnings for the quarter primarily due to higher soybean crushing margins.
CHS reports earnings for its business services and its food-related joint ventures under Corporate and Other. Combined earnings for CHS Hedging, CHS Capital and CHS Insurance businesses increased slightly during the first quarter of fiscal 2016 compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Earnings for the quarter also increased over the same period a year ago for the CHS share of food manufacturer and distributor Ventura Foods L.L.C., but declined for its share of earnings from Ardent Mills wheat milling joint venture.