MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - CHS Inc. (Nasdaq: CHSCP) is prepared to take on the challenges of dynamic global market forces, leaders of the energy, grains and foods cooperative told delegates and guests at its annual meeting today.
"I believe we have what it takes to succeed," said Michael Toelle, a Browns Valley, Minn., producer and chairman of the CHS Board of Directors. "For no matter what tomorrow may hold, I can think of nothing I'd rather be part of than an organization owned by farmers. An organization with great values, supported by dedicated employees with knowledge and integrity, and with strong relationships at every point along the food chain."
Toelle made those remarks to nearly 3,000 of the cooperative's farmers, ranchers and others attending its annual meeting, "Forces," at the Minneapolis Convention Center Dec. 2-3.
CHS President and Chief Executive Officer John Johnson outlined the company's future direction, including being a producer-focused organization, expanding its global capabilities, growing in oilseed and grain-based foods businesses, expanding its energy business and leveraging the strength of the total CHS enterprise.
"These are ambitious, but, we think, very achievable goals. I think each sets the stage for an exciting future for the farmers, ranchers and member cooperatives who own us and for the grain, food and other energy customers we supply," he said. "And, in accomplishing these, CHS will continue to fulfill its vision and mission commitments to our stakeholders."
Johnson will retire on Dec. 31, 2010. The CHS Board of Directors has named Carl Casale, who has been chief financial officer of Monsanto Company, as his successor.
CHS reported fiscal 2010 net income of $502.2 million – its fourth best on record -- in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in mid November. Revenues were $25.3 billion. During fiscal 2010, based on fiscal 2009 earnings, the company returned $237 million in cash and preferred stock to its owners.
Chief Financial Officer John Schmitz told delegates, "in fiscal 2010, even amid a continued weak global economy, the diverse CHS business portfolio and strong balance sheet positions us to return value to our owners and take advantage of appropriate future opportunities."
Operations highlights for fiscal 2010 included:
• Record performance for the company's propane, lubricants and renewable fuels marketing businesses and completion of a major image refresh for Cenex® brand convenience stores.
• Continued expansion of international presence with the opening of grain marketing and crop nutrients marketing offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Amman, Jordan, along with the completion of a new joint venture grain terminal in Odessa, Ukraine.
• Ongoing growth of the company's domestic retail operations providing crop production and marketing products and services.
• Heightened emphasis on both environmental, health and safety, and community stewardship with the establishment of a new corporate compliance department and strengthened corporate giving programs focused on building strong communities and new generations of rural leaders.
SOURCE: CHS Inc.