Toronto: Rising global food prices have spelt bonanza for the world's biggest fertilizer company, Potash Corporation, which Thursday reported more than a two-fold increase in its profits during the fourth quarter.
The Canadian company's stock also jumped about three percent to USD 172.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday on record profits. At the opening bell, the stock was selling more than USD 174.
In its fourth-quarter report, Potash Corporation reported earnings of USD 482.3 million (USD 1.61 per share), which is more than double of USD 239.2 million (USD 0.79 per share) earned in the same period last year.
The company posted 65 percent jump in revenue to USD 1.81 billion during the period.
The fertilizer giant, which was the target of a takeover bid by Australian mining giant BHP Billiton with the offer USD 130 per share last year, said its performance was impacted by "takeover response costs (included in other income), which reduced earnings for the fourth quarter and full year by USD 0.16 per share and USD 0.18 per share, respectively.''
Based at Saskatoon in Saskatchewan province, Potash Corporation is the world leader in fertilizer output, producing all the three major crop nutrients - potash, nitrogen and phosphate. It accounts for 20 percent of potash-based fertilizers in the world.
With global food prices touching a new high and fuelling inflation, the Canadian giant expected a robust demand for fertilizers in the future as farmers seek to maximize crop production.
"With global food demand as the powerful engine, we believe we have moved into the next stage of growth for our business.
Our company stands poised to capitalize on that growth and we believe our fourth-quarter results provide a glimpse of the capabilities and earning potential of our expanding world-class operations,''said Potash Corporation president and CEO Bill Doyle.
"We enter 2011 with a sense of responsibility about the role our company will play in global food production and excitement for the earnings potential of PotashCorp,'' he said.