Commodities

Yara plans extra dividend as quarterly earnings top forecast

Credit: REUTERS/STAFF

Norwegian fertiliser company Yara proposed an extra dividend of 18 Norwegian crowns ($1.93) per share on Tuesday and reported third-quarter core profits above expectations.

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OSLO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Norwegian fertiliser company Yara YAR.OL proposed an extra dividend of 18 Norwegian crowns ($1.93) per share on Tuesday and reported third-quarter core profits above expectations.

Yara's July-Sept. earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), excluding non-recurring items, fell 11% year-on-year to $558 million, while analysts on average had forecast $544 million according to Refinitiv.

The Oslo-listed company, one of the world's largest producers of nitrogen fertilisers, said the lower profit mainly reflected weaker nitrogen prices.

"Our crop nutrition focused business model continues to perform strongly," Chief Executive Svein Tore Holsether said in a statement.

"Fertiliser and food demand is resilient also in times of crisis, and ensuring continuity in food production and related value chains remains a top priority for all countries," Yara added.

The company completed the sale of its 25% stake in Qatar Fertiliser Company to Qatar Petroleum for $1 billion in August, and soon after initiated a share buyback programme of up to 5% of its own shares.

The extra dividend of 18 crowns in the fourth quarter will raise Yara's cash payout to shareholders in 2020 to 53 crowns, the company said.

The price for Yara of natural gas, a key component in the production of nitrogen fertilisers, is expected to be $40 million higher in both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter 2021 compared to a year earlier, it said.

($1 = 9.3219 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Victoria Klesty; editing by Terje Solsvik)

((victoria.klesty@thomsonreuters.com; +47 2331 6592; Reuters Messaging: victoria.klesty.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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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