Yara reports fourth-quarter net income after non-controlling interests of NOK 1,424 million (NOK 4.93 per share), compared with a negative NOK 2,109 million last year (NOK 7.27 per share). Excluding net foreign exchange losses and special items, the result was NOK 4.35 per share, compared with a negative NOK 0.10 per share in fourth-quarter 2008. EBITDA for the quarter was NOK 1,394 million compared with 1,626 in fourth quarter 2008. Yara's board will propose to the Annual General Meeting a dividend payment of NOK 4.50 per share for 2009.
"Our underlying fourth-quarter results were non-satisfactory. Global NPK sales continued to
be hampered by high potash prices, and until November European nitrate prices were held back by European distributors still unwilling to take positions for the spring application", said Jørgen Ole Haslestad, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara.
"We saw a major improvement in fertilizer markets towards the end of the fourth quarter, as global nitrogen and phosphate markets turned demand-driven. Increased global nitrogen prices stimulated demand from European distributors, enabling Yara to increase nitrate prices substantially with effect for January sales. Improved phosphate demand and falling potash prices have seen NPK sales pick up, and Yara's NPK capacity has been fully utilized since the beginning of January", said Jørgen Ole Haslestad.
Fourth-quarter fertilizer deliveries were up 37% on fourth quarter 2008. European fertilizer sales increased for all main product groups except NPK. European NPK sales continued to be hampered by high potash prices but increased in December as nitrogen and phosphate demand improved. Industrial volumes increased 15% from fourth quarter 2008 and 8% from third quarter 2009.
Yara continued to exercise tight inventory management in the fourth quarter, maintaining low stock levels in line with previous quarters and 43% below fourth quarter last year.
European oil and gas costs decreased in line with Yara's third-quarter guidance.
Link to 4th quarter webcast 15 February at 0930 CET
Torgeir Kvidal, Investor Relations
Telephone (+47) 24 15 72 95
Cellular (+47) 91 33 98 32
Asle Skredderberget, Media Relations
Cellular (+47) 41 44 36 10
Yara International ASA is the world's leading chemical company that converts energy, natural minerals and nitrogen from the air into essential products for farmers and industrial customers. As the number one global supplier of mineral fertilizers, we help provide food for a growing world population. Our industrial product portfolio includes environmental protection agents that prevent air pollution. Yara's global workforce of 8000 employees represents the great diversity and knowledge that enables Yara to remain a leading performer in the industry.
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act)