Thursday, April 16, 2009
Morocco's Phosphate Company Posts Record Profit
Sometimes it is hard to remember how wealthy Morocco really is, especially when one witnesses the poverty of the streets. But in terms of agriculture, phosphates, and now even, natural gas, Morocco has a lot going for it in terms of natural resources. If only some of that money could reach the masses. Here is an article from Reuters on Morocco's national phosphate company announcing record profit this past year.
Morocco's OCP profit soars 9 times on prices rise
04.15.09, 02:17 PM EDT
CASABLANCA, April 15 (Reuters) - Morocco's Office Cherifien de Phosphate (OCP), the world's leading phosphate exporter, posted a 9 times net profit increase to 23.4 billion Moroccan Dirham ($2.8 billion) last year mainly on higher prices, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
'The 2008 year was an exceptional year for us,' Mustafa Terrab told reporters and market analysts during a results presentation.
OCP has 45.5 percent of the world lime phosphate market, 49 percent of the phosphoric acid market and 12 percent of fertilisers, according to company data.
Its sales jumped to 60.14 billion dirhams in 2008 from 28.9 billion the previous year, though it cut the volume of phosphate and fertilisers sold to 23.71 million tonnes from 27.93 million as part of a strategy to influence market prices.
'We use our dominant position to influence the market without wrecking its long-term fundamentals,' Terrab added.
He said the company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 390 percent from to 32.9 billion.
As a result, OCP granted 2.9 billion dirhams as dividends to its shareholders -- all of them state bodies.
Its results benefitted from phosphate prices which soared to an average of $115 per tonne from $50 the previous year and $40 in 2006, according to OCP figures.
(Reporting by Lamine Ghanmi; Editing by David Holmes)