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 MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Teamwork throughout its agricultural supply system fueled 1993 earnings of $80.5 million for Cenex -- the third consecutive year of record net income for the regional cooperative.
 Cenex reported those earnings on sales of $2.048 billion for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 1993, the first time it has broken the $2 billion mark. The 1993 results compare with net income of $63.9 million on sales of $1.779 billion for fiscal 1992.
 "The record net income and landmark sales do not belong to one individual or one organization," said Cenex President Noel K. Estenson. "Each dollar of earnings and sales is a credit to every farmer or rancher who purchased products, to every local cooperative and to every employee of this organization.
 "This continued financial success has provided Cenex with the ability to return significant amounts of cash to its owners, as well as to make investments in future."
 Estenson reported on 1993 results during the 63rd Cenex Annual Meeting -- which carried the theme "Team Together." The two-day event drew nearly 1,800 Cenex member-owners and others to the Minneapolis Convention Center.
 While Cenex has achieved five years of record or near-record earnings, Estenson said the cooperative's 1994 projection are for lower earnings than in recent years. Among the factors impacting 1994 will be additional expenses created by a recent environmental upgrade at its refinery and repercussions from both depressed 1993 plant food margins and the flooding of the past spring. As a result, Cenex has set a 1994 net income goal of $35 million.
 Cenex Chief Financial Officer Joel Koonce reported that the success of 1993 and the years preceding it have resulted in both strong financial health for Cenex and a significant financial boost for local cooperatives and their communities.
 Cash returns to members, in the form of patronage and stock retirements, have totaled nearly $100 million in the past five years. Based upon 1993 results, Cenex member-owners will share in more than $32 million in cash.
 "Applying the economists' multiplier rule of thumb, a factor of seven, we can see that each dollar returned to our cooperatives' communities, has a major impact," Koonce said.
 Cenex Board Chairman Elroy Webster reported that with 1993 disbursements, Cenex has returned 51.4 percent of its cumulative net earnings -- or $372.1 million -- to its owners.
 Webster also announced that a stock retirement to member cooperatives which normally is made in May, will be paid out in December as a "one-time change that acknowledges that current conditions in many areas of the country are tough."
 In addition to contributing economically to rural communities, Webster noted that speaking up on behalf of agricultural and cooperatives is a priority. The 15-member Cenex board of directors met in Washington, D.C., in March to speak out against the proposed Btu tax and other issues of concern to agriculture.
 "The tax was ultimately defeated and its defeat is a good example of what we in agriculture can do if we work together," Webster said.
 He added that cooperative education remained a Cenex priority. Cenex invested $785,000 during 1993 to support cooperative education programs.
 "We need to tell the co-op story over and over. People have to understand how cooperatives work in order to make them work for them," he said.
 Cenex is a regional cooperative serving more than 320,000 farmers and ranchers from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest through more than 1,600 local member cooperatives. It supplies a wide range of refined petroleum products, propane, lubricants, tires, batteries and vehicle accessories, and, through the Cenex/Land O'lakes marketing joint venture, plant food, crop protection products and a wide range of agronomic and information services.
 -0- 12/8/93
 /CONTACT: Lani Jordan of Cenex, 612-451-4946, or on Dec. 8 or 9: 612-335-6652/

CO: Cenex/Land O'lakes ST: Minnesota IN: AGR SU: ERN

DB-AL -- MN001 -- 1807 12/08/93 13:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 8, 1993

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