21 August 2012 12:49 [Source: ICIS news]
MOSCOW (ICIS)--Acron suffered a 3% slip in first half net profit to roubles (Rb) 6.59bn ($206m) compared to the year-ago period, despite a 7% rise in commercial output to 3.12m tonnes, the Russian fertilizer producer said on Tuesday.
Revenue for the six months ending 30 June increased 18% year-on-year to Rb35.3bn from Rb29.9bn thanks to a 5% increase in ammonia output to 945,900 tonnes, commissioning of a new urea unit late in the first quarter and a rise in complex fertilizer production at Hongri Acron.
Those positive operating results cushioned the impact of a production stoppage at its Russian facilities in June and July caused by a "phosphate supply shortage". The group settled its dispute with the supplier in mid-July and production resumed, although first-half NPK volumes edged up just 2% year-on-year to 1.17m tonnes.
Acron said global prices for mineral fertilizers experienced "considerable fluctuations yet remained at a comfort level for producers" during January-June, while it also benefited from a more favourable exchange rate.
The cost of the products sold in the six month period totalled Rb20.0bn, up 22% year-on-year due to an increase in output and higher prices for certain raw materials.
"The first half year was action-packed for the group," said Acron's acting CEO Alexander Popov. "A new 335,000 tonne/year urea unit was commissioned on 31 March ... [which] increased UAN production by 21% year-on-year."
Popov added: "We continue to invest in the group's development and long-term growth with a program of vertical integration. Capital expenditures for H1 2012 totalled Rb 6.7bn (€170m), more than half of which went to our Oleniy Ruchey phosphate project, which will start producing apatite concentrate later this year.
"Two more projects are at the design stage; a potash project in the Talitsky area of the Verkhnekamsk potassium and magnesium salts deposit, and a 700,000 tonnes/year ammonia unit at Acron's production site in Veliky Novgorod."
Acron holding controls OAO Acron, based in Novgorod region, northern Russia, OAO Dorogobuzh based in Smolensk region, central Russia, as well as China's Acron-Hunzhi, based in Shandong province.
In a separate announcement on Tuesday, OAO Dorogobuzh reported a 57% slump in first half net profit to Rb2.5bn from the same period of last year, despite a 7% year-on-year rise in revenue to Rb8.69bn.
($1 = Rb32.05)
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