YARA International ASA reports strong financial results for the fourth quarter and achieved for the first time an annual Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) of above US$1 billion.

The result in the fourth quarter was lower than the record fourth quarter period last year due to increased energy costs and unrealized currency losses related to US$ funding.

Yara reports for the fourth quarter a net income after minority interest of NOK 588 million (NOK 1.90 per share), compared with NOK 1,251 million (NOK 3.94 per share) in the fourth quarter last year. Excluding net foreign exchange losses, the result was approximately NOK 2.18 per share compared with NOK 3.06 per share in fourth quarter 2004.

Fourth quarter operating income was NOK 651 million compared with NOK 914 million in the same quarter last year.

EBITDA for the quarter was NOK 1,379 million compared with NOK 1,565 million in the fourth quarter last year. The results were positively influenced by derivative contracts under IFRS and negatively impacted by non-recurring costs. Adjusting for these special effects and for the currency losses, the underlying quarterly result was NOK 2.39 per share.

\\$quot;Fertilizer prices remained strong through the quarter, but margins were lower than the record highs of 2004 due to increasing energy prices. This has led to several plant shutdowns among Yara\\$quot;s competitors, particularly in North America, UK and Eastern Europe where Yara does not have production,\\$quot; says Thorleif Enger, President and CEO of Yara International ASA, who expects the low global grain inventories and the growing demand for biofuels to support demand for fertilizer.

Full-year net income after minority interest was NOK 3,198 million (NOK 10.20 per share), compared with NOK 3,794 million (NOK 11.90 per share) for 2004. Excluding net foreign exchange gains/losses, the result was approximately NOK 11.36 per share compared with NOK 10.31 per share in 2004.

Full year operating income was NOK 3,821 million, compared with NOK 3,708 million last year. EBITDA was NOK 6,618 million compared with NOK 6,108 million last year.