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Yara reports 4Q19 results

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World Fertilizer,

Yara has announced its 4Q19 financial results.

4Q19 net income after non-controlling interests was US$199 million (US$0.73 per share), compared with US$157 million (US$0.58 per share) a year earlier. Excluding currency effects and special items, the result was US$0.80 per share compared with US$0.60 per share in 4Q18. Yara’s Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting a dividend payment of NOK15 per share for 2019.

4Q19 EBITDA excluding special items was US$525 million, up from US$424 million a year earlier, mainly reflecting higher commercial margins, improved product mix and lower energy cost, more than offsetting the impact from lower commodity prices.

“Yara delivers improved results again, with fourth-quarter EBITDA excluding special items and IFRS 16 up 15%. The results mainly reflect improved commercial margins and lower gas cost,” said Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara.

"I am pleased to see our crop nutrition focused strategy delivering results and that our free cash flow continues to increase, enabling us to deliver on our capital allocation policy with a substantial dividend increase," said Holsether.

Total Sales and Marketing deliveries were 5% lower compared with a year earlier, primarily reflecting a 9% reduction in deliveries in Europe. However, commercial margins were 6% higher versus a year earlier and fixed costs were lower. New Business deliveries were 2% lower. Yara’s ammonia production was down 2%, while finished fertilizer production was down 4% compared to a year earlier.

Yara’s near-term focus is on improving returns through strict capital allocation and driving operational excellence. Yara’s investments peaked in 2018, with revenues ramping up from 2019 onwards as growth projects come on stream and further operational improvements are realised. The Yara improvement programme targets 4.2 million additional t of production by 2023 compared with 2018, in addition to fixed cost savings and improvements within energy efficiency, variable cost and operating capital.

Yara’s Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting a dividend payment of NOK 15 per share for 2019. Yara plans to buy back 0.5% of its outstanding shares by the end of 1Q20. Including the proportional redemption of shares owned by the Norwegian state, the total buyback and redemption will amount to approximately 0.8% of shares outstanding, equivalent to approximately NOK3 per share at the current share price.

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