Agrium (TSX: AGU) (NYSE: AGU) announced today its 2017 second quarter results, with net earnings to equity holders of Agrium of $557-million ($4.03 diluted earnings per share) compared to net earnings to equity holders of $564-million ($4.08 diluted earnings per share) in the second quarter of 2016. The slight reduction in net earnings was driven by weaker nitrogen and phosphate benchmark prices, which were partially offset by higher Retail earnings, strong potash results and lower fixed costs across our Wholesale business.
- 2017 second quarter guidance relevant earnings were $566-million or $4.09 diluted earnings per share1.
- Our Retail business achieved a first half EBITDA2 record of $821-million supported by strong margins, with EBITDA to sales of 10.3 percent, compared to 9.8 percent last year and the highest since 2008.
- Wholesale grew its second quarter sales volumes and reduced costs across our operations to achieve EBITDA similar to last year, despite a 7 percent decline in North American nitrogen prices this quarter. Record first half potash production achieved with successful post expansion ramp-up.
- Our new urea facility at Borger, Texas was successfully commissioned and reached designed operating rates in the second quarter.
- Agrium has updated our 2017 annual guidance to a range of $4.75 to $5.25 diluted earnings per share.