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CHS expands European grains presence

By Lorraine Heller , 10-Jul-2007

US grains company CHS has taken a step towards expanding its presence in Europe, announcing this week the opening of a new grain marketing office in Geneva.

The firm, which claims to be the third largest US grains company, said its new European location will allow it to "enhance both service and execution" to its global customers.

 

 

 

"An office in Geneva brings CHS significant opportunity for growth, valuable competitive advantages and increased market access," said the firm's Rick Browne, senior vice president, Grain Marketing.

 

 

 

CHS now exports around 60 percent of the 1.2bn bushels of grain it handles annually, and expanding its operations abroad allows it to more efficiently cater for this demand.

 

 

 

The firm sources its US grains and oilseeds including soybeans, corn, wheat and barley, as well as soybeans from its Brazilian operations.

 

 

 

Its new subsidiary, CHS Europe, will source and market a variety of grains and oilseeds including wheat, barley, canola, sunflower seeds and corn through the rapidly expanding production and consumption regions of the Black Sea and Mediterranean Basin.

 

 

 

Earlier this year, the company revealed it had opened a marketing office in Hong Kong to strengthen its presence in Asia. According to Browne, the move allowed the group to better adapt to the challenges it faces in the region.

 

 

 

"This Hong Kong office is an important step for CHS in enhancing service and execution to our current Asian customers, gaining first-hand market information and promoting CHS as an attractive grain-supply source to new customers and the industry," he said in April.

 

 

 

The company said that it expected continuing economic reform, particularly in China, to maintain long-term growth in the region. Sales to Asia In fiscal 2006 were $904m.

 

 

The firm's six-month results, announced in April this year, revealed a 'record' profit of $218m, following strong growth in its grain and food processing segments.

 

 

 

Between 1 September and 28 February, net income within the company's grain and processing segments rose to $30m and $42m respectively, compared to $17.5m and $17.2m over the same period in 2006.

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