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FULL YEAR: NUTRIEN'S SALES UP 4%, EARNINGS DOWN 54%
Source: Nutrien news release

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan -- Nutrien Ltd. (TSX and NYSE: NTR) announced today its fourth quarter and full year 2020 results, with fourth-quarter net earnings of $316 million($0.55 diluted earnings per share). Fourth-quarter adjusted net earnings1 were $0.24 per share and adjusted EBITDA1 was $768 million.

"Nutrien reported excellent results across our entire business. Our Retail Ag Solutions business delivered a record fourth quarter and we also reported higher potash and nitrogen sales volumes and lower production costs. Agriculture fundamentals began to improve in late 2020 and we are starting to see the benefit to our business from this cyclical recovery," commented Chuck Magro, Nutrien's President and CEO.

"We are committed to shareholder returns and again raised our dividend and announced another share buyback program, which emphasizes the strength of Nutrien, notwithstanding a global pandemic. We continually look for ways to improve our business portfolio, including the MOPCO divestment for over half-a-billion dollars, with the intention to reallocate the capital to higher return opportunities to drive shareholder value," added Mr. Magro.

Highlights:

*Nutrien announced a dividend increase and new share buyback program. The Board of Directors approved an increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.46 per share, our third dividend increase in three years with an annualized payout at $1.84 per share.

*Nutrien's Board of Directors also approved the purchase of up to five percent of Nutrien's outstanding common shares over a one-year period through a normal course issuer bid (NCIB). The NCIB is subject to acceptance by the Toronto Stock Exchange.

*Nutrien generated $1.8 billion in free cash flow in 2020, and $2.4 billion including the improvement to our non-cash operating working capital.

*Retail Ag Solutions delivered a 29 percent increase in adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, due to exceptional organic growth and strong fall fertilizer applications in North America. Retail generated 16 percent higher adjusted EBITDA in 2020 compared to 2019 due to double digit organic growth and contributions from acquisitions. 2020 Retail adjusted EBITDA to sales was 9.7 percent on a consolidated basis and 10.6 percent in the US, higher by 0.4 and 0.9 percentage points, respectively, compared to 2019.

*Retail Ag Solutions further improved results through supply chain and efficiency efforts including improving the cash operating coverage ratio and lowering Retail adjusted average working capital1 by nearly $900 million compared to 2019. Adjusted EBITDA per US selling location1 reached $1.08 million and digital platform sales exceeded $1.2 billion in 2020, more than double our goal of $500 million and over four times 2019 levels.

*Potash adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter increased 48 percent compared to the same period in 2019, due to much stronger domestic and offshore sales volumes. 2020 Potash adjusted EBITDA was 25 percent lower than in 2019 due to lower net realized selling prices. Potash sales volumes in 2020 were the second highest on record and Nutrien is fully committed on domestic and offshore sales volumes into April of 2021, despite not shipping volumes to China and India until new sales contracts are negotiated. Potash cash cost of product manufactured was $59 per tonne in 2020, down $4 per tonne from 2019.

*Nitrogen adjusted EBITDA increased 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 primarily due to higher sales volumes. Nitrogen adjusted EBITDA decreased 13 percent in 2020 as higher sales volumes and lower cost of goods sold per tonne were more than offset by lower net realized selling prices. Sales volumes increased by nearly 700,000 tonnes in 2020 driven by higher production resulting from debottlenecking projects and strong operating rates.

*Nutrien closed the sale of its stake in Misr Fertilizers Production Company S.A.E. ("MOPCO") which includes settlement of related arbitration claims. Total net proceeds received from the transaction in 2020 were $540 million. The investment had contributed approximately $15 million to $20 million to Nutrien's adjusted EBITDA annually, and carried a book value of approximately $300 million. The cash received is expected to be redeployed to generate higher returns for shareholders.

*Nutrien announced the launch of the agricultural industry's most comprehensive carbon program, providing end-to-end support for growers to drive improved sustainability, boost yields and provide the opportunity to monetize improved carbon performance at the farm level through carbon credits.

*Nutrien's 2021 adjusted net earnings per share1 and adjusted EBITDA1 guidance is $2.05 to $2.75 per share and $4.0 billion to $4.5 billion, respectively.

To read the entire report click here.


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