Potash Corp profit climbs as sales volumes grow

Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:12pm EDT
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Potash Corp of Saskatchewan reported on Thursday its second-quarter profit more than doubled, soaring past expectations, as a four-fold rise in sales volumes offset lower prices for the crop nutrient.

The company, the world's largest producer of potash, said it expected global demand to increase roughly 10 percent industrywide to about 55 million tonnes in 2011.

It said net income rose to $472 million, or $1.55 a share, from $186.2 million, or 61 cents, a year earlier.

Excluding a one-time gain from a special dividend from its investment in Israel Chemicals, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company earned $402.4 million, or $1.38 a share.

"The undeniable need for sustainable food production continued to drive fertilizer demand and our performance in the second quarter," Chief Executive Bill Doyle said in a statement.

Revenue rose nearly 70 percent to $1.44 billion, as potash shipments rose sharply from year-earlier levels, when the world recession and weak grain prices had hit fertilizer demand.

Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of $1.19 a share, on revenues of $1.40 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Potash Corp closed up 5.2 percent at $102.80 on the New York Stock Exchange, while ending the day up 4.6 percent at C$106.39 in Toronto.   Continued...