21 February 2013 23:39 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Agrium on Thursday announced record net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 that increased 8.3% year on year, following the trend of those within the fertilizer industry who benefited from the ongoing growth of agricultural production and the boom in crop commodities, particularly the North American corn market.
The Canadian fertilizer company reported its fourth quarter earnings at $354m (€266m) for 2012 compared to $327m for the same period in 2011.
The boom in agricultural demand also helped cap a strong overall 2012 performance as the company posted net earnings of $1.5bn versus $1.4bn in 2011.
Agrium saw its retail sales increased this past quarter by 8% year on year to $2bn, in part to increased sales of crop protection products and nutrients. Wholesale business profit decreased 12% year on year to $490m, primarily due to reduced potash demand and pricing.
“I am delighted to report that our unique position across the global agriculture input value chain, and our on-going commitment to driving continuous improvement across our business enabled us to deliver record results for the fourth quarter and match the record annual earnings achieved in 2011,” said Agrium president and CEO Mike Wilson.
Company officials pointed to the anticipated demand for fertilizer products, as well as the increased global demand for food applying pressure to worldwide grain supplies, as an opportunity to continue to increase their market share and further grow their company’s earnings.
“We believe there is a compelling economic incentive for growers across the world to plant record acreage in 2013 and to optimise their use of crop inputs,” Wilson said.
“As the spring season approaches North America, Agrium will be there to provide growers with the crop input products, services and expertise they need in order to fully benefit from the tremendous opportunity presented by this attractive environment, and we look forward to delivering another year of value for all our stakeholders.”
($1 = €0.75)
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