Yara report a strong fourth quarter and yearly results for 2004.
Yara’s fourth-quarter net income after interest for 2004 was $196 million USD/ €151 million, ($0.62/€0.48 per share). This is compared with $118 million/€91 million, ($0.37/€0.28 per share) in the fourth quarter in 2003.
Fourth quarter operating income was $139.97 million/€107.78 million compared with $139.65 million/€107.53 million in the forth quarter in 2003.
EBITDA for the fourth was $235 million/€181 million, compared with $230 million/€177 million.
Commenting on the quarterly results, President and CEO of Yara International ASA, Thorleif Enger said, “Fourth quarter 2004 represented another strong period making 2004 a record year for Yara, both in terms of earnings and cash flow. During 2004 we delivered the best ever results for a fertiliser company.”
Net income after minority interests for 2004 was $594 million/€457 million compared with $345 million/€266 million in 2003. Excluding net foreign exchange gains, full-year earnings per share were $1.61/€1.24.
The board proposed to the AGM a dividend of $0.36/€0.28 per share for 2004. The board also intends to propose the AGM that they continue with the share buy-back programme with an expanded share price range. The buy-back programme is expected to supplement dividend payments to a total of 40-45% cash distribution of net income as an average over the business cycle.
Yara reported an attractive fertiliser market in the fourth quarter. Yara increased their market share in Europe at the expense of their imports. They also estimated their total nitrogen growth in 2004 was 3%. Global fertiliser demand in 2004 was sufficiently strong to secure demand-driven pricing.
Yara announced new growth initiatives during the first quarter of 2005 meaning higher investment levels for 2005 than in 2004. Yara believe that this will strengthen their ability to participate in fertiliser market growth and industry consolidation.
Thorleif Enger is positive about Yara’s growth in 2005, “We have made significant strategic moves during the first quarter of 2005, signing a letter of intent for a fifth fertiliser plant in Qatar, acquiring a minority stake in the Russian fertiliser producer Rossosh and strengthening our position in the Chilean speciality fertiliser producer SQM. These initiatives, along with the successful $500 million USD bond offering and our solid credit rating have improved our ability to further grow our business and market position at the same time as we maintain our financial strength.”
The quarterly figures reflect official accounts while the historical figures are pro forma since the de-merger from Norsk Hydro took place on 25th March 2004.
Note: Currency calculations are based on a Q4 2004 average.