13 February 2008 13:37 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Agrium posted a fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $250m, up from an $87m loss a year earlier, on soaring fertilizer demand and prices, the Canada-based producer said on Wednesday.
Net sales for the three months ended 31 December were $1.43bn, up 59%, and net earnings were $172m, compared with a net loss of $62m in the 2006 fourth quarter when Agrium recorded a $136m impairment charge on its Canadian phosphate assets.
"Our performance this quarter was a result of our three business units all delivering record fourth-quarter results, due to a combination of excellent business fundamentals and strong operating performance,” said CEO Mike Wilson.
Nitrogen sales increased by more than 60%, to $555m and its gross profits more than tripled to $225m, Agrium said.
Potash sales increased by $44m to reach $93m and its gross profits more than doubled to $57m due to higher domestic and international demand and sales prices.
Phosphate sales more than doubled to $139m and its gross profits increased by $43m, to $47m, as a result of record phosphate selling prices and strong customer demand, the company said.
“Strong demand for crop inputs, combined with limited capacity additions for all three nutrients, is expected to result in the continuation of tight supply and demand conditions for global nutrient markets,” he said.
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