Moscow – PhosAgro (Moscow Exchange, LSE: PHOR), one of the world’s leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers, announces that its Board of Directors today has recommended that shareholders approve a dividend payment of RUB 6,216 million, or RUB 48 per share (RUB 16 per Global Depositary Receipt). The Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders (“EGM”) has been set for 14 July 2015, and the record date for shareholders eligible to participate in the EGM is 8 June 2015.
The Board of Directors also reviewed a report on the Company’s financial and operational performance in 1Q 2015. PhosAgro reported a year-on-year increase of fertilizer production of 8.3%, to 1.7 mln tonnes, and sales growth of 2.8%, to 1.7 million tonnes, in the first quarter. The growth in operating performance was driven by successful implementation of the investment programme and streamlining of production processes. The Company’s consolidated IFRS financial statements for 1Q 2015 were reviewed at today’s meeting and will be published tomorrow, 29 May 2015.
As part of its policy to optimise the Company’s debt structure, PhosAgro expects to reduce its debt by approximately RUB 20 billion by the end of the year by utilising its operating cash flow to pay down short-term debt raised in 2012-2014.
The Board of Directors approved the work of the Company’s management in implementing PhosAgro’s strategy for 2014, and confirmed the key areas of focus for 2015. The priority investment projects in downstream production remain construction a new 760 ths tonnes/year ammonium production facility at PhosAgro-Cherepovets, a new 500 ths tonne/year granulated urea line and a new 300 ths tonne/year ammonium sulphate line, as well as increases in in production capacities for phosphate-based fertilizers. Priorities for upstream operations include modernisation of processing facilities and the launch of the new main ore shaft at the Kirovsky underground mine at Apatit.
The Board of Directors was informed that optimisation of the investment programme of PhosAgro-Cherepovets – including a decision not to construct a new 450 ths tonne/year NPK production facility in favour of modernising and expanding existing fertilizer production facilities – resulted in a reduction of the programme’s cost from USD 1.07 bln to USD 0.99 bln.
The Board of Directors also reviewed information regarding implementation of the Company’s social programmes in 2014 and of the main areas of the Company’s social policy in 2015. The Board also reviewed the results of the holding company enterprises’ work on maintaining compliance with workplace safety requirements in 2014.
The Board of Directors also approved related-party transactions at the meeting.
PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev said: “We continue to fulfil our promises to investors under PhosAgro’s new dividend policy, which increased the share of new profit to be distributed as dividends. At the same time we are working to reduce our debt levels and we are implementing PhosAgro’s strategic investment programme, which aims to secure the Company’s leading positions in the global fertilizer market.”