SAFCO Profit Declines

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Saudi Arabian Fertilizers Co (Safco) said its quarterly net profit fell 13 percent, missing analysts expectations for the second straight quarter.

Safco made 790 million riyals ($210.7 million) in the second quarter, compared with 907.2 million riyals in the prior-year period when its results were boosted by sale of land.

Analysts had forecast average second-quarter earnings of 994.3 million riyals, in a Reuters survey.

The company said sales of ammonia declined in the second-quarter and average urea prices were also lower on a sequential basis.

Sales of ammonia took a hit due to the prices shooting up to $10/tonne in March of this year, following a spot sale out ofIranamid tight supply and strong demand.

Operating profits at Safco rose 36 percent to 757 million riyals versus 558 million riyals year-ago.

Safco said it would pay a dividend of 6 riyals a share for the first half of the year. Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp 2010.SE holds a 42.9 percent stake in Safco.

Safco, 43 percent owned by Saudi Basic, the world?s largest petrochemicals maker, will pay a dividend of 6 riyals a share for the first half of the year, the company said in a separate statement today.

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, icis

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