Fertiliser maker Yara's Q1 lags forecast, eyes more cash to shareholders

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OSLO, April 23 (Reuters) - Norwegian fertiliser company Yara YAR.OL posted a smaller-than-expected rise in first-quarter core profits on Friday and said it will consider further cash returns to shareholders in the coming quarters.

The company is experiencing rising prices for its fertilisers at a time of high global grain demand, but also an increase in energy costs at its plants.

January-March earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), excluding non-recurring items, rose 16% year on year to $585 million, lagging the $612 million median expectation of 11 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

"We will consider further cash returns in the coming quarters, in line with Yara's capital allocation policy," Chief Executive Svein Tore Holsether said in a statement.

The Oslo-listed firm expects to pay $180 million more for natural gas, a key component in the production of nitrogen fertilisers, in the second quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier, and $220 million more in the third.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Victoria Klesty)

((terje.solsvik@thomsonreuters.com; +47 918 666 70))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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