CANADA: Commodity price declines hit Viterra earnings
Canadian agribusiness giant Viterra booked a drop in full-year profits today (21 January), impacted by declining commodity prices.
Viterra's net earnings for the fiscal year amounted to C$113.1m (US$107.6m), compared to C$288.3m last year.
Despite the drop, the firm said it was "a good result" in a year in which the industry experienced "dramatic changes" in fertilizer pricing.
For the year ended 31 October, Viterra generated EBITDA of C$323.7m, down from C$532.6m last year.
However, excluding a first-quarter fertilizer inventory write-down, EBITDA was C$351.8m for 2009.
Viterra's consolidated sales and other operating revenues reached C$6.6bn compared to C$6.8bn in 2008. Declining commodity pricing had the greatest impact on the results, with fertilizer pricing and margins down "substantially" from 2008.
Mayo Schmidt, president and CEO said: "Fiscal 2009 was a defining year for Viterra, one in which we significantly broadened our global presence through the acquisition of ABB Grain Ltd in Australia."
Looking forward, Schmidt said that the firm has the infrastructure to compete on a global level and the relationships to "fuel future growth".
"Given the increasing importance of high-quality food ingredients, we expect considerable opportunities to generate additional value for our stakeholders, particularly in the value-added sector," he added.
Viterra generated C$1.4bn in sales and other operating revenues in the final quarter of fiscal 2009, down $0.3bn on last year's fourth quarter.
The firm recorded a consolidated net loss for the final quarter of C$0.9m. A drop from the C$46.8m earned in the comparable quarter of last year.
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