The energy and grain-based foods group CHS Inc. has posted first-quarter net income of US$154.2m, representing a strong rise from $18m in the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Sales in the first quarter were up 17% at $3.5bn. The company attributed the strong first-quarter profit performance to record earnings at its energy operations, led by refined fuels, as well as a robust performance from its Ag Business unit, which includes its grain marketing and CHS retail operations as well as its 50% participation in Agriliance, LLC.

CHS added that CHS Processing was also performing ahead of the first quarter of 2005, thanks to a recovery in oilseed processing profits and earnings from the company’s share in Ventura Foods, LLC, a vegetable oil-based food packaging and manufacturing operation.