24 October 2013 11:57 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan’s (PotashCorp's) third-quarter net income in 2013 fell steeply to $356m from $645m in the same quarter last year as a result of weaker prices for phosphates, nitrogen and potash, the Canadian fertilizer producer said on Thursday.
Lower potash sales volumes also brought earnings down, the company added.
Sales for the three months ended 30 September fell 29% year on year to $1.52bn, while operating profit during the quarter slipped to $505m from $918m reported in the same period last year.
Gross margin contributions from all three nutrients during the third quarter were also negatively affected by a challenging fertilizer market, PotashCorp said. Gross margin totals of $484m during the third quarter trailed the group’s performance in the comparative period of 2012, when it generated $927m.
"The most recent quarter can best be characterized as a predictable response to an unpredicted event," said PotashCorp President and CEO, Bill Doyle.
"As we have seen in the past, fertilizer customers faced with uncertainty act with extreme caution. This was the case during the third quarter, particularly in offshore potash markets, where significant purchases were delayed as Russian producer pronouncements left buyers waiting in anticipation of weaker prices.
“While this volatility does not change the long-term underlying fundamentals of fertilizer demand, it did significantly slow market activity and our ability to deliver the results we expected."
The company has cut its full-year 2013 net income guidance to $2.00-$2.20 per share from earlier forecasts of $2.45-2.70 per share.
($1 = €0.73)
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