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Strong first quarter results from Yara International

May 07, 2004
"It is with pleasure we present Yara's first quarterly results following the separation from Norsk Hydro. This quarter has produced one of the best quarterly results throughout our 99-year old history," says CEO of Yara International, Thorleif Enger.
 
First quarter 2004 represents a further improvement in Yara's business performance. The fundamental situation for global agriculture reflects a positive trend that has contributed to a healthy development in the consumption of fertilizer products.
 
Historically high prices
The improvement from first quarter 2003 to first quarter 2004 was mainly due to higher nitrogen prices. Prices today are at levels above the historical averages. The average prilled urea price (fob Arabian Gulf) remained during the quarter at a level almost 30% above the historical average of USD 133 per ton, while the price of ammonia (fob Caribbean) in early January peaked at twice the historical average of USD 150 per ton. The CAN price (cif bulk Germany) was also strong and steady around USD 176.
 
Demand in Europe was as expected, though lower than first quarter 2003 as many customers advanced their purchases to fourth quarter 2003, while orders in the 02/03 season were postponed into first quarter 2003. The Industrial segment continued volume growth both for nitrogen chemicals, industrial gases and environmental products.
 
A generally higher price and margin level for our products affected EBITDA positively by NOK 744 million. The improvement was related to the strong fertilizer market and the generally high price level for fertilizer products, as well as for ammonia. However, this was partly offset by a NOK 100 million negative effect from Yara's natural long position in ammonia quarter-over-quarter, as the ammonia price rose in first quarter 2003, while it fell in first quarter 2004.
 
Key events
"First quarter 2004 represented an important milestone in the history of the company with the listing of Yara International ASA on the Oslo Stock Exchange on 25 March. The Initial Public Offering of Yara shares, which took place in connection with the demerger from Norsk Hydro, was a success," says Mr. Enger. The offering was approximately 20 times oversubscribed. Yara has also, during first quarter, been able to secure new long-term financing at attractive terms in a financing process that was also considerably oversubscribed.
 
The joint venture Qafco in Qatar, where Yara holds a 25% stake, saw the official opening of the fourth expansion making the plant the world's largest single-site fertilizer factory. The new capacity is expected to come on stream during the second quarter this year and will bring Qafco's annual production capacity up to 2 million tonnes of ammonia and 2.8 million tonnes of urea. This is an increase of 0.7 million tonnes of ammonia and 1.1 million tonnes of urea.
 
As the activities included in the figures did not legally exist as the Yara group until 25 March 2004, the figures reported are pro forma figures.
 
 
Financial calendar
May 7:             First Quarter Results
June 16:             General Meeting
July 16:             Second Quarter Results
Oct 15:             Third Quarter Results
 
 
Contact
 
 
Egil Hogna, Investor Relations
 
Arne Cartridge, Media Relation
Telephone
(+47) 24 15 71 66
(+47) 24 15 73 01
Cellular
(+47) 90 187 865
(+47) 47 900 900
E-mail
 
 
For further information
The entire quarterly report and the presentation material used during the press and analyst conference is available on
 
 
Yara International ASA is the world's leading supplier of mineral fertilizers with particular strength in nitrogen based fertilizers. Yara has a local presence in 50 countries worldwide. Yara sells more than 20 million tonnes of mineral fertilizers in more than 120 countries. Yara offers fertilizers meeting the nutrient needs of local crops supported by agronomic advice to make farming more profitable and agriculture more sustainable. Yara has a strong position in industrial markets in Europe as a supplier of nitrogen based chemicals and is the leading supplier of liquid CO2.
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