2014 was a year of growth, adding new revenue streams to Yara from increased production capacity and market presence as well as expert knowledge on environmental technology. Supported by lower gas prices and a stronger US dollar, Yara’s margins increased through the year.
We strengthened our global produc¬tion base both through acquisitions and brownfield expansions. In Europe we completed a project adding 300,000 tons of premium product capacity in Porsgrunn, Norway, and we gained full ownership of a urea plant in Le Havre, France. We announced further investments into several of our Nordic sites.
Overseas, Yara started the integration process of OFD Holding, which includes an NPK plant in Colombia and Downstream positions in six Latin American countries. We also announced the construction of a world scale ammonia plant in Texas, USA, in a joint venture with BASF. The plant will use hydrogen as raw material, reducing both capital expenditure and greenhouse gas emissions.
In Brazil we took a majority position in the phosphate company Galvani, adding upstream capacity to complement our recently expanded downstream footprint. The Bunge integration is ahead of schedule, with realized synergies of USD 55 million, demonstrating how Yara’s global market knowledge enables it to maximize value creation from growth opportunities.
At the other end of the value chain, we acquired three industrial technology companies, becoming a leading total solution provider for cleansing harmful emissions to air. Yara is well positioned in an attractive market, aiming for environmental solution revenues of NOK 10 billion by 2020.
Our employees are the company’s greatest asset. People, products, solutions and application competence give Yara a competitive edge and knowledge margin.
Safety is a prerequisite in all of our activities. Systematic work has improved Yara’s safety performance significantly over the past two decades. We report positive results from the efforts to further improve our safety performance. Total Recordable Injuries (TRI) rates dropped from 4.3 to 3.9 for employees and contractors combined. However, strong focus on further improvements is needed, also to ensure high standards in growth projects. We believe all accidents are avoidable and our ultimate goal is zero injuries.
As we delivered on our growth strategy, the number of employees also grew and at the end of 2014 we were a total of 12,073 people in the company. Our workforce comprise more than 60 nationalities and represents a great set of diverse skills and competencies.
At Yara we bring our expert knowledge to the market with the goal of creating shared value. By optimizing the farmers’ use of crop nutrition, we bring the best value to our shareholders, customers, farmers and society at large.
As an example, Yara has partnered with Vietnamese authorities, Nestlé and other stakeholders to improve performance for smallholder coffee farmers. On demo farms and field trials, we use our knowledge to show how using less fertilizer, of the right quality, can improve yields and farmers’ income – while reducing their carbon footprint by more than 50%.
Throughout 2014, Yara has implemented the experiences from Vietnam in a number of major coffee producing markets – strengthening Yara’s position in the coffee segment - an USD 100 billion trade market.
As dietary changes and a growing population drives demand for food, sustainable development in global agricultural systems is vital: More food must be produced, using fewer resources and with less strain on the environment.
In 2015 the United Nations will define new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). During the UN General Assembly 2014, Yara was a co-signer of a private sector Business Manifesto, voicing support for the SDG process.
Major food companies, the UN Global Compact and the FAO Committee of Food Security are all exploring how to improve sustainability performance in the food value chain. Yara is a signatory to UN Global Compact and a founding member of the Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture.
We actively support sustainability and responsible business principles. We leverage our knowledge to lead on crop nutrition, environmental solutions and partnerships – creating profitable growth while nurturing, protecting, and sustaining life.
In a world that demands more sustainable solutions for growing food, Yara is very well positioned to provide solutions.
President and CEO (acting)