Solid volume growth in GROWMARK business units produced record sales for the cooperative for the 2013 fiscal year, which ends August 31.
CEO Jeff Solberg reported unaudited, estimated sales of $10.3 billion for FY 2013. Pretax income is estimated at $220 million, one of the best years in company history. An estimated $135 million in patronage refunds will be returned to GROWMARK member cooperatives and farmer-owners.
“We began this year coming off a severe drought, but the strength of the FS System pulled us through to a very good 2013 fiscal year,” Solberg said. “Our business is built around our mission to improve the long-term profitability of our member owners. Our sales will allow us to return significant patronage to our owners. We remain committed to their success and to the unity of our cooperative system.”
Operational highlights for the company’s business units were also reported at the Annual Meeting:
Record sales volume for the Crop Protection Division were reported, the result of sales growth in all major product categories and emphasis on nutrient management and weed resistant challenges. Total crop protection sales increased 28 percent. The Seed Division reported increased unit sales of corn and soybeans, with seed sales dollars up eight percent over 2012. The Plant Food Division reported the third consecutive year of record sales volume, although income will be down from last year’s strong earnings. Sales of Deere, AGCO, and Case IH tractors and equipment exceeded the threshold of $100 million for the first time.
The Energy Division recorded another record year for total product volume. Total volume is nearly 10 percent higher than last year, driven by market share increases and an expanded marketing footprint. Gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, and lubricants all posted gains. The acquisition of the organization’s third wholesale petroleum terminal, at Ashkum, Ill., serves members and other customers in East Central Illinois, and the purchase of Manito Transit, a small regional carrier of petroleum products, and a small carrier located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, supports our transport of petroleum products, chemicals, lubricants, and anhydrous ammonia.
GROWMARK continues to grow its grain business in nearly every territory segment. Eastern Grain Marketing, located near Kankakee, IL, was announced last fall and will be receiving grain at the new 110-car shuttle loading facility on the Norfolk Southern railroad from this year’s harvest.
Despite the drought going into this year, GROWMARK’s grain business performed better than expected, originating 130 million bushels of grain. Risk management services, including MID-CO Commodities, and AgriVisor, LLC, reported continued strong demand for the products and services offered.
All of GROWMARK’s retail divisions reported solid years. Total retail division sales are estimated at $ 1.7 billion, which includes record sales at our East Coast subsidiaries, GROWMARK FS, LLC and SEEDWAY, LLC. Several acquisitions, efficiency improvements, target marketing and enhanced people resources added to this year’s success.
“Although we are proud of our financial results and the growth of our System, we are aware of the challenges facing us. There are seven billion people on this planet today and the general view is that number will increase to nine billion by mid-Century,” Solberg said. “Our table is set to meet the challenges of a growing world population. And we are committed to helping our member companies and customers meet the challenges by continuing to be a reliable supplier of the products and services they need to assist their farmer-customers in meeting the food, fiber, and fuel needs of a growing world population.”