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Agrium profit blossoms seven-fold

Another sign that Western Canada agribusiness will weather the global financial storm came today on word that Agrium Inc. is reporting third-quarter net earnings that are seven times higher than the $51 billion (US) the industry earned at the same in 2007.

November 5, 2008  By Canadian Press/Toronto Star

November 5, 2008

Calgary, AB –Agrium Inc. has reported third-quarter net earnings of US$367 million, more than seven times the $51 million the fertilizer and farm inputs company earned in the year-ago period.

Agrium, reporting in U.S. dollars, said Wednesday its July-September sales bloomed to $3.18 billion from $1.04 billion, boosted by high fertilizer prices and the acquisition in May of UAP, a US agricultural products retailer.


For the three months ended Sept. 30, the Calgary company earned $2.31 a diluted share, up from 38 cents in the same 2007 period and more than four times the previous third quarter record achieved in 2004.

The third quarter results include natural gas and power hedge losses of $171-million and a recovery in stock-based compensation of $99-million, the company said.

For the nine-month period, Agrium profits surged to nearly $1.2 billion from $269 million, while sales jumped to $8.3 billion from just under $4 billion.

"These impressive third quarter results demonstrate the strength of Agrium's diverse product and asset mix and our ability to make and integrate strategic acquisitions," said Mike Wilson, the company's president and CEO.

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