Viterra fiscal 2011 earnings soar 83%

by Eric Schroeder
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CALGARY, ALTA. — Net earnings at Viterra Inc. in the year ended Oct. 31, 2011, totaled C$265,409,000 ($262,686,000), equal to C$0.71 per share on the common stock, up 83% from C$145,272,000, or C$0.39 per share, in fiscal 2010. Sales and other operating revenues in the most recent year rose 43% to C$11,790,458,000 ($11,669,482,000) from C$8,256,280,000. Viterra attributed the earnings and sales gains to strong contributions from its agri-products operations, higher volumes for the Australian grain handling and marketing operations and a solid performance from its processing operations. For the year, Viterra generated EBITDA of C$701,906,000 ($694,823,000), a 36% increase over the prior year, as all three business segments increased sales revenue and gross profit contributions relative to fiscal 2010. Grain Handling and Marketing’s EBITDA rose 28% due to record grain receipts and shipments in Australia and strong results from North American Grain. Processing's EBITDA increased 19%, reflecting the new pasta and oat businesses acquired in the latter half of fiscal 2010. “The past year was very strong for Viterra as we demonstrated the value of our global reach, influence and expertise to deliver record financial results in a challenging economic environment,” said Mayo Schmidt, president and chief executive officer. “Looking forward, we are optimistic as strong long-term global demand fundamentals continue to support the agricultural industry. While the current economic environment is challenging, Viterra has an enviable position in this global market, a vertically integrated business model, excellent assets in key growing regions, and an efficient global marketing network all supported by a strong liquidity position. We are focused on improving our return on assets to drive earnings-per-share performance and our results demonstrate this.” The board of directors approved a 50% increase in Viterra’s dividend rate to C$0.15 per share per year compared with the previous rate of C$0.10 per share.

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