Israel's Makhteshim Agan reports Q4 net loss of $26.7m

12 March 2012 03:33  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Makhteshim Agan narrowed its net loss to $26.7m (€20.3m) in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with a loss of $159.2m in the same period a year earlier, buoyed partly by increased selling prices, the Israel-based agrochemicals firm said over the weekend.

The firm’s sales for the three months to December 2011 grew by 9% year on year to $549.3m, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to $26.6m, compared with a loss of $85.4m in the same period in 2010, the fertilizer producer said on 11 March.

“The improvement in gross profit for the quarter was due primarily to increased selling prices and an improved product mix, offset partially by increased raw material and energy costs as well as unfavourable exchange rates,” the company said in a statement.

Makhteshim Agan’s earnings in the fourth quarter of 2011 include non-recurring expenses of $12m relating to the China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) merger transaction, which was completed in October last year, the it said.

The company is now 60% owned by China National Agrochemical Corp, a wholly owned subsidiary of ChemChina. The remaining 40% is held by Koor Industries, a part of Israeli holding firm IDB Group.

In the full-year of 2011, Makhteshim Agan’s net income rose to $120.7m, compared with a loss of $131.9m a year earlier, buoyed by the absence of extraordinary charges, the company said.

Its sales rose 14% year on year to $2.69bn in 2011, while EBITDA surged to $372.8m from $141.7m a year earlier, it said.

“Our higher sales [in 2011] are derived from volume growth driven by favourable climatic conditions, increase in planting areas in 2011 and higher prices for agricultural commodities,” said Erez Vigodman, President and CEO of Makhteshim Agan.

“During the same period we witnessed a relatively stable pricing environment. The strengthening of some of the currencies in which we operate also contributed to our sales growth,” he added.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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