Agrium Inc. has announced that net earnings for the fourth quarter were $102-million ($0.71 diluted earnings per share). Net earnings for the year were $276-million ($1.91 diluted earnings per share).

"We delivered strong results in 2004. EBITDA was over $600-million; our cash position doubled from the previous year; and our revenues exceeded $3-billion. Our Retail operations achieved record EBIT and EBITDA in 2004, with revenues reaching a record $1.1-billion. Fourth quarter 2004 margins for all of our wholesale product groups increased both over the previous quarter and on a year-over-year basis," said Mike Wilson, Agrium's President and CEO.

"Our U.S. retail business is anticipating a good spring season based on feedback from customers. The fundamentals continue to be favorable for both our wholesale and retail operations, and we are looking forward to strong financial performance in 2005."

"We recently announced we are redeeming $175-million in preferred securities with cash. This provides a number of financial benefits, such as reduced security charges and reduced dilution in our earnings per share, while maintaining our financial capability to pursue opportunities that add value for shareholders," said Mr. Wilson.

Source: Company release