01 November 2007 12:40 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Agrium reported a near eight-fold increase in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to $102m (€71m) from $13m during the same period last year, the Canadian fertilizer major reported on Thursday.?xml:namespace>
The company booked a 20% increase in sales to $1.04bn with strong growth across all business segments.
“The fundamentals of our business remain excellent, with continued strong crop prices and a tight supply and demand balance for all three nutrients benefiting our retail, wholesale, and advanced technologies businesses,” said Agrium president and CEO Mike Wilson.
By segment, retail’s EBIT reached $17m, up from a $9m loss in the third quarter of 2006.
The improvement was a refection of improved fertilizer margins, synergies achieved through the integration of the former Royster-Clark operations and growth in the South American retail business.
The wholesale segment more than doubled EBIT to $96m compared with $47m in the year-ago period, driven by improved margins for all nutrients and continued strong agriculture and nutrient markets, said Agrium.
The advanced technologies segment booked an EBIT of $3m against a $3m loss in the third quarter of 2006.
The increase was mainly due to higher margins for the urea fertilizer ESN and the inclusion of a full quarter’s results for Pursell, which was acquired in August 2006.
Agrium said the stronger Canadian dollar increased production costs, primarily for potash and Canadian phosphate operations.
"All our wholesale operations are running well, we expect a solid fall application season in our core markets, and the outlook for the remainder of 2007 and 2008 is excellent," said ?xml:namespace>
($1 = €0.69)
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