Israel's Adama Q4 net loss widens on higher financing costs

TEL AVIV, March 9 Sun Mar 9, 2014 4:21am EDT

TEL AVIV, March 9 (Reuters) - Adama Agricultural Solutions, the world's biggest provider of generic crop protection chemicals, reported a wider net loss in the fourth quarter despite higher sales due to higher financing and tax expenses.

The quarterly net loss amounted to $29.1 million compared with a loss of $21.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Israeli company formerly called MA Industries said on Sunday.

Revenue for the quarter rose 13 percent to $655.7 million due to higher quantities sold and higher selling prices, partially offset by currency effects.

Sales in Europe dipped 0.2 percent while they rose nearly 20 percent in Latin America, reflecting strong performance mainly in Brazil as well as new operations in Chile. Sales rose 17 percent in North America.

Financing expenses rose 39 percent to $37.7 million as a result of increased hedging costs assumed due to growing sales in emerging markets and due to the change in Israeli inflation, to which most of the company's debentures are linked.

China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) owns 60 percent of Adama while Israel's Discount Investment Corp owns the rest.

"We are pleased with our progress towards building an integrated platform in China, as demonstrated by the Sanonda tender offer that we completed during the fourth quarter," the company's chairman, Yang Xingqiang, said in a statement.

Adama completed a partial tender offer to acquire 10.6 percent of Hubei Sanonda Co, an agrochemical company controlled by China National Agrochemical Corp. (Reporting by Tova Cohen)