09 May 2013 12:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Agrium’s first-quarter consolidated net earnings fell by 9% year on year to $141m (€107m) from $155m in the first quarter of 2012 partly due to a share-based payments expense of $16m, the Canada-based agribusiness company said on Thursday.
Excluding this item, the group’s net earnings in the first quarter would have been $153m.
Agrium’s first-quarter sales fell 10% year on year to $3.22bn. Retail sales decreased by 13% to $2.1bn largely due to colder weather while wholesale sales fell slightly to $1.1bn from $1.2bn in the first quarter of 2012 caused by weaker international phosphate prices coupled with lower product purchased for resale sales prices and volumes.
The group’s Advanced Technologies sales remained steady at $133m.
Agrium’s total gross profit for the first quarter of 2013 was $716m, a decrease of 9% compared with $785m in the first quarter of 2012.
“The continuation of cold, wet weather in April is likely to result in a somewhat compressed spring application season this year. However, we still expect excellent demand for crop inputs in the first half of 2013 given positive grower sentiment and the strength in the agricultural fundamentals,” said Mike Wilson, Agrium president and CEO.
“We also generated $355m in operating cash flow this quarter, an excellent result for a quarter that is traditionally our slowest seasonally," he added.
($1 = €0.76)
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