Yara reports 45% drop in fourth-quarter earnings

Yara International, one of the world’s leading fertilizer producers, reported on Friday that its fourth-quarter earnings fell by 45% year on year. Despite the sharp decline, the results were better than analysts had been expecting.

The Norwegian company said that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation (EBITDA), excluding one-off items, came to $586mn in Q4 2023, down from almost $1.07bn in Q4 2022. It also reported that its net income was $246mn, down from $766mn in Q4 2022.

Yara’s president and CEO, Svein Tore Holsether, attributed the results to lower market prices and ‘one-off position effects’, but noted that he was pleased to have seen an improving trend since the second quarter, and a positive market trend going into 2024.

He said that the company will pay a dividend for 2023 of five Norwegian krone ($0.47) per share, in line with its capital allocation policy. That’s 91% less than the 55 krone it paid in 2022.

Yara pointed out that, so far this season, nitrogen supply is lower than normal in both Europe and the US, indicating a tighter global balance for the first half of 2024.

It noted that fertilizer affordability has improved during the quarter, and that optimal application rates for wheat in Europe are currently approximately six percent higher than a year ago.

Additionally, it said, the start of 2024 has seen increased buying activity and higher prices, signalling a potential volume catch-up into the main application season in the Northern hemisphere.’

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