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Source: Agrium news release

To read the entire report click here.

Agrium Inc. (TSX and NYSE: AGU) announced today its 2016 fourth quarter results, with a net earnings to equity holders of Agrium of $67-million ($0.49 diluted earnings per share) compared to net earnings of $201-million ($1.45 diluted earnings per share) in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The reduction in net earnings was driven primarily by lower year-over-year nutrient pricing. On an annual basis, 2016 earnings to equity holders of Agrium were $592-million ($4.29 diluted earnings per share) compared to $988-million ($6.98 diluted earnings per share) in 2015.


Fourth quarter guidance relevant earnings were $94-million or $0.68 diluted earnings per share which is in-line with our guidance. Retail reported record EBITDA for the fourth quarter, supported by strong crop protection product sales and record International earnings, as Australian operations delivered a 29 percent increase in annual EBITDA in 2016.

Cash provided by operating activities was $1.5-billion in the fourth quarter.

Wholesale achieved record production for nitrogen this year and successfully completed construction of the 610,000 tonne urea plant at its nitrogen facility in Borger, Texas, within the previously disclosed revised timeline and cost parameters. Commissioning is underway and production is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2017.

Agrium had a record year for retail small to mid-sized acquisitions, with over $500-million of expected annual sales.

Agrium's commitment to Operational Excellence continued to deliver results this quarter, and on an annual basis we delivered approximately $145-million of EBITDA cash cost savings across the company. Supporting this was $66-million in fixed cost savings in Wholesale, while Retail's cash operating coverage ratio3 improved to 61 percent on an annual basis.

Agrium has announced our 2017 annual guidance range of $4.50 to $6.00 diluted earnings per share (see page 3 for guidance assumptions and further details).

"Agrium continued to deliver solid results across our business this quarter, supported by record fourth quarter results in our Retail business and strong wholesale operating performance. We delivered on our promise of value- dded growth in 2016 by successfully bringing our Borger expansion to completion and growing retail at a record pace through acquisitions," commented Chuck Magro, Agrium's President and CEO.

"We have been encouraged by the recent firming in global nutrient markets and we anticipate solid demand for crop inputs in the coming spring application season," added Mr. Magro.

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