March 21, 2018 / 10:42 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Phosagro reports fall in Q4 profit, targets higher output

* EBITDA down 5 pct, revenue up 14 percent

* Says optimistic on fertiliser prices (Adds CEO comment, outlook, details, share price)

MOSCOW, March 21 (Reuters) - Russian fertiliser producer Phosagro reported a 63 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday to 4.3 billion roubles ($75 million) citing a stronger rouble and said it aimed to increase output by 10 percent this year.

“Despite the effects of the rouble appreciation, which remain unfavourable for all exporters, I believe that Phosagro has successfully passed the peak of its capex cycle and remains well positioned to benefit from the ongoing recovery in fertilizer prices,” Chief Executive Andrey Guryev said.

Core earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 5 percent to 12.8 billion roubles, the company said in a statement.

Its EBITDA margin slid to 28 from 34 percent, it said.

Revenue rose 14 percent to 45.8 billion roubles said Phosagro, which competes with producers of crop nutrients such as U.S. firm Mosaic.

Looking to 2018, the company, which exports to Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Latin America, aims to raise fertiliser production by 10 percent.

It also remains optimistic on fertiliser prices on the back of inflated feedstock prices and the tight supply-demand balance in the first quarter of 2018 and the beginning of the second quarter.

“Despite a significant 30 percent year-on-year decrease in phosphate exports in the fourth quarter, China is still considered the wild card in the phosphate segment, and we will all be paying close attention to Chinese export numbers for April and May,” Phosagro said.

Moscow-listed shares in Phosagro were down 0.75 percent by 1030 GMT, underperforming the broader market index, which was up 1.0 percent. ($1 = 57.5030 roubles) (Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Maria Kiselyova)

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