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Source: Agrium news release

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Agrium Inc. (TSX and NYSE: AGU) announced today consolidated net earnings ("net earnings") from continuing operations of $625-million ($4.34 diluted earnings per share) for the second quarter of 2014, compared with net earnings from continuing operations of $744-million in the second quarter of 2013 ($5.00 diluted earnings per share).

The 2014 second quarter results included non-cash charges for future environmental remediation activities of $22-million ($0.11 diluted earnings per share). These were partially offset by a $16-million ($0.08 diluted earnings per share) share-based payments recovery.

Excluding these items, net earnings from continuing operations would have been $629-million ($4.37 diluted earnings per share) versus our 2014 second quarter earnings guidance of $3.85 to $4.35 diluted earnings per share.

"Agrium Retail operations delivered record results this quarter, with EBITDA2 up 28 percent year-over-year supported by strong results from our recently acquired Canadian and Australian operations. We continue to drive synergies and operational improvements across our global retail network.

As a result, we made significant progress towards all our key Retail operational metrics and remain focused on our 2015 financial targets," commented Chuck Magro, Agrium's President and CEO.

"Agrium has a unique strategic position to meet widespread agricultural demand, with over half a million customers globally, significant advantages in our nitrogen and potash businesses and a complementary portfolio of products and services.

Agrium continues to focus on maximizing operational and financial efficiencies across our complementary portfolio of assets, including optimization of working capital and operating costs.

Combined with Agrium's current growth projects, we believe these initiatives will drive higher free cash flow and subsequent shareholder returns," added Mr. Magro.

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