ST. PAUL, Minn. -- CHS Inc. owners in 48 states are sharing in an unprecedented up to $343 million disbursement as a result of the leading energy and grain-based foods company's record fiscal 2008 earnings. It marks the fifth consecutive record return to owners by CHS and is the largest ever made by a U.S. cooperative.

A $231 million distribution currently underway consists of cash patronage, equity redemption and CHS preferred stock issued as equity redemption. Distributions of equity and preferred stock dividends later this year are expected to bring the fiscal 2009 total to $343 million.

"Once again, CHS has demonstrated one of the most important ways we can deliver on our mission of adding value for all of our stakeholders," said Michael Toelle, CHS board chairman. "The strong performance the company achieved during fiscal 2008 has enabled CHS to continue to grow, to be financially sound and to provide a return on our owners' investment in diverse businesses ranging from energy to grain marketing to food processing."

CHS net income for its fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2008, was $803 million.

During 2009, distributions are being made to about 1,200 member companies and more than 35,000 individuals. Patronage is based on business done with CHS during fiscal 2008, while equity redemptions and preferred stock distributions represent retirement of ownership in CHS earned in past years.

CHS Inc. is a diversified energy, grains and foods company committed to providing the essential resources that enrich lives around the world. A Fortune 200 company, CHS is owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives, along with thousands of preferred stockholders across the United States. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex(R) brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.

SOURCE: CHS Inc. via PR Newswire.