May 9 (Reuters) - Fertilizer producer and retailer Agrium Inc’s quarterly profit fell on hedging losses and higher costs, including a more-than-five-fold rise in pre-tax share-based payments.
First-quarter profit fell to $155 million, or 97 cents per share, compared with $171 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.
Sales rose 23 percent to $3.63 billion on higher sales volumes across the company’s product lines.
Agrium, which is a major producer of nitrogen-based fertilizers like ammonia and urea, said the results included a pre-tax loss of $13 million on hedge positions and a pre-tax share-based payment expense of $64 million, up from $12 million a year earlier.
Calgary, Alberta-based Agrium is also the largest North American retailer of agricultural inputs such as seeds, nutrients and crop protection chemicals.