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FULL YEAR: COMPASS MINERALS' SALES DOWN 8%, EARNINGS DOWN 5%
Compass Minerals reports:

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Overland Park, KS - Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP), a leading global provider of essential minerals, today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results.

Plant Nutrition Business Summary
Plant Nutrition North America segment revenue in the 2020 fourth quarter totaled $88.7 million, up 16% from the prior-year quarter. The result was primarily due to a 23% increase in sales volumes, partially offset by a 6% decline in average selling prices.

Sales volumes for SOP for the fourth quarter improved significantly from the weaker third quarter. For full-year 2020, the segment generated $239.6 million in revenue, 16% above prior-year results also due to increased sales volumes. Prior-year sales were negatively affected by wet weather conditions in key markets during the first half of 2019.

Fourth-quarter 2020 operating earnings for the Plant Nutrition North America segment decreased $6.9 million or 47% from prior year, to $7.9 million, while EBITDA decreased $8.3 million or 32% to $17.6 million. Elevated costs drove the contraction of the segment's operating margin to 9% from 19% and the EBITDA margin to 20% from 34% in the fourth quarter of 2019 as the company experienced short-term unit cost pressure at its SOP facility in Utah.

Full-year 2020 operating earnings declined $10.4 million or 46%, to $12.1 million, while EBITDA of $52.5 million was $14.6 million or 22% below 2019 results as lower than expected production and the previously disclosed inventory adjustment during the third-quarter 2020 of $7.4 million weighed on results.

The Plant Nutrition South America segment generated $101.4 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020, an 8% decline from the prior-year quarter. In local currency, revenue increased 24% driven by a 20% improvement in average selling prices and a 3% increase in sales volume resulting from a 14% increase in agriculture product sales volumes partially offset by lower chemical sales.

Full-year 2020 revenue for the Plant Nutrition South America segment totaled $344.4 million, 11% below 2019 results. In local currency, revenue increased 18% compared to full-year 2019 results as sales volumes increased 4% and average selling prices increased 14%.

Plant Nutrition South America operating earnings for the fourth quarter of 2020 decreased $2.4 million to $16.1 million, a 13% decline from 2019 results, while EBITDA declined $3.5 million from 2019 results to $20.7 million. This decrease is due to the 33% weaker Brazilian real. In local currency, fourth-quarter 2020 operating earnings were up 16% and EBITDA increased 15% compared to 2019 as stronger year-over-year agriculture sales volumes more than offset weaker chemical solutions sales volumes.

For the full year, operating earnings were $0.3 million above 2019 results, a 1% increase, and EBITDA declined 6%, while operating margins increased 130 basis points and EBITDA margins increased 80 basis points. In local currency, full-year operating earnings were 35% above 2019 results and EBITDA increased 25% while EBITDA margins increased 90 basis points.


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