The Canadian Press
CALGARY - Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) has reported a nine per cent decrease in first-quarter earnings as the fertilizer giant saw sales fall 10 per cent.
The company said Thursday it earned US$141 million or 94 cents per diluted share in the quarter, down from US$155 million or 97 cents per share in the same year-earlier period.
Sales revenue dropped 10 per cent to US$3.22 billion from $3.57 billion.
Agrium said retail sales fell 13 per cent to US$2.1 billion, largely due to colder weather and a more typical spring season compared with a historically early spring season in the same quarter last year.
Wholesale sales declined $100 million to $1.1 billion as a result of weaker international phosphate prices coupled with lower product purchased for resale, sales prices and volumes.
Advanced Technologies sales were relatively steady at $133 million compared with $135 million in the same period last year.
President and CEO Mike Wilson said the continuation of cold, wet weather in North America is likely to result in a compressed spring fertilizer application season.
"However, we still expect excellent demand for crop inputs in the first half of 2013 given positive grower sentiment and the strength in the agricultural fundamentals," he said.