Topic: Uralkali Case
MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – Uralkali, the world’s largest potash fertilizer producer, has reported a first-half net profit down 53 percent year-on-year, as the Russian company is entangled in a legal dispute with Belarus.
Uralkali has revealed a 1H net profit of $397 million under international financial reporting standards, the Prime business news agency, a RIA Novosti affiliate, reported Tuesday, citing a company statement.
The profit figure was about $100 million lower than had been predicted by a Prime survey of analysts. Uralkali’s revenue in the January-June period also came in lower than predicted, falling 29 percent year-on-year to $1.35 billion, Prime reported.
Last month Belarus arrested Uralkali’s CEO, Vladislav Baumgertner, who is still in custody, and charged him with abuse of power. The country is also seeking the extradition of Uralkali’s largest shareholder, Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, on similar charges.
Shares in Uralkali jumped more than 8 percent on Monday, following media reports that top shareholder Kerimov might be close to selling his stake in the company in a possible move to resolve the ongoing conflict with Belarus.
The company’s acting CEO, Viktor Belyakov, expressed optimism in comments carried by Prime.
“We believe that our market position and focus of efforts have created a solid foundation so that the company may continue to deliver results to shareholders – and we look at the medium term with confidence,” he was quoted as saying.
In July, Uralkali formally dissolved an international cartel with its former Belarusian partner company Belaruskali, claiming that the Belarusian side was selling potash outside the bounds of their partnership agreement. The break sent shares in fertilizer producers tumbling around the world, and has sent the price of potash on a steady downward slide.
Shortly after Baumgertner’s arrest, Russia announced a drastic cut of September’s oil supplies to Belarus, and Russia’s health spokesman criticized the cleanliness of Belarusian dairy products.
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