Compass Sales Driven by Higher Selling Prices

Compass Minerals International Inc of Overland Park, KS has reported first quarter net earnings of US$60.6 million on sales of US$393.0 million, up from US$50.2 million on sales of US$422.0 million in the prior year period. The company benefited from improved highway deicing prices and favorable pricing in its plant nutrition segment. Compass’ Salt segment generated operating earnings of US$77.0 million on sales of US$316.7 million up from US$63.5 million on sales of US$353.2 million in the first quarter of 2014. The lower revenue reflects a reduction in winter weather deicing demand in North America compared with last year’s extreme weather. Highway deicing sales volumes decreased 19%, to 3.8 million tons, as very strong North American winter demand was partially offset by mild weather in the UK. The average selling price increased 17% to US$62.99/ton, reflecting lower pricing from the prior year’s North American bid season. Consumer and industrial salt sales volumes fell 22%, to 507,000 tons, and the average sales prices decreased 2%, to US$146.77/ton, reflecting a sales mix shift toward lower-priced, non-deicing product sales. Per unit costs were negatively impacted by unplanned downtime at its North American rock salt mines, some of which related to heavy ice coverage on lake Huron which prevented Goderich mine production and shipments of salt in the second half of March. Compass’ Plant Nutrition segment reported higher first quarter earnings of US$20.8 million on sales of US$73.6 million up from US$16.3 million on sales of US$66.1 million in the prior year period. The improvement was driven by a 23% increase in average selling price partially offset by a 9% decline in sales volume due to some product availability constraints. Sales volumes of sulfate of potash (SOP) fell 9% to 97,000 tons and the average selling price increased 23% to US$759/ton versus the prior period’s US$616/ton.

Volume 29 issue 9

Leave a Reply