WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA – Ag Growth International, Inc. (AGI) reported record trade sales and adjusted earnings for the three and six months ended June 30.
The company attributed the results to continued momentum in international sales, a robust Canadian commercial markets and strong portable grain handling sales in the U.S.
Adjusted earnings for the quarter were C$49 million, up from C$40 million in the same time period a year earlier. For the six-month period, adjusted earnings were C$80 million, up from C$66 million a year ago.
Excluding acquisitions, international sales increased 44% compared to the prior year, easily surpassing record highs due to continued strength in EMEA and higher sales in Brazil.
Commercial activity in the Canadian fertilizer and grain segments remains very high due to the evolution of fertilizer distribution and expansion of the Canadian grain handling infrastructure.
In the U.S., prospects of another large crop and pent up demand have resulted in recovering sales of portable grain handling equipment.
"We had an outstanding effort from teams throughout AGI in the second quarter," said Tim Close, president and chief executive officer of AGI. "Our Farm group delivered solid results, including significant sales growth in the U.S., strong sales in Canada and consistent margins in an environment of volatile input prices. Significant growth in our Commercial business was driven by a robust market in Canada and record international sales. The broad based, strong performance across AGI pushed organic growth to 12% in the quarter. The outlook across AGI continues to be positive.”
Crop conditions in North America are generally very positive and recent reports from both the USDA and Statistics Canada are supportive of market expectations of a large North American crop, particularly in the U.S. Demand for portable grain handling equipment in the U.S. remains very high due to underinvestment in recent years and the expectation of a favorable harvest in 2018.
Order backlogs in the U.S. for both portable grain handling equipment and grain storage systems remain strong.
Management anticipates that strong Commercial sales in North America in the second half of 2018 will result from robust demand in Canada for fertilizer and grain systems, offset by lower year-over-year activity in the U.S.
In addition, management expects results to benefit from the recent acquisitions of CMC, Junge and Danmare.
AGI's Commercial backlog in North America is substantially higher than the prior year. International sales momentum is expected to continue in the second half due to a very strong backlog with particular strength in EMEA and South America.
The recent addition of Sabe in France is also expected to contribute to strong international results. Overall, management anticipates sales and EBITDA related to Commercial equipment in 2018 will be higher than the prior year.
On balance, management anticipates trade sales and adjusted EBITDA in the second half of fiscal 2018 will increase compared to 2017.