Our ability to drive sustainable, long-term economic value relies on the successful execution of a growth strategy that builds on our current strengths, while diversifying our future opportunities. Our strategic objectives focus on capital investment to advance organic growth, accretive acquisitions in key markets and operational and commercial excellence to drive increased profitability. To increase resiliency and reduce risks, in 2016, we diversified our geographic presence and product portfolio in plant nutrition, which lessens our dependency on winter weather. Simultaneously, we are working to strengthen our High Performance culture, with an emphasis on increasing safety and sustainability, streamlining processes and supporting our workforce and asset capabilities to deliver on our goals.
We are confident our combined efforts will result in a stronger company with even greater resilience. Nevertheless, we recognize that market fundamentals may, at times, be challenging and that cost-cutting initiatives may increase in significance. In the process, we aim to encourage a culture of accountability and transparency with both our internal and external stakeholders.
Our strategy is to build a stronger, more balanced company – one that we believe will drive increased shareholder value for years to come. A key component of this plan has been capital investments in our existing assets.
These investments are expected to increase productivity and drive growth by the long-term integrity of our advantaged assets and provide us with additional cost-efficient capacity and growth potential in both businesses. These key projects include:
Another element of our investment plan has been identifying attractive acquisitions to expand our business. In 2015, we purchased a 35 percent stake in Produquímica, a leading Brazilian specialty plant nutrition and specialty chemical company. We acquired the remaining 65 percent of this company in October 2016. With this investment, we gained access to one of the world’s most important agriculture markets and a company with a 50-year history of innovation and growth in the Brazilian specialty plant nutrition market. In addition to a complete portfolio of specialty plant nutrients and an extensive distribution network, Produquímica also has an attractive business manufacturing and marketing specialty chemicals to serve the growing need for clean water and process chemicals throughout Brazil. We expect this investment to improve our growth prospects, provide greater diversification of our earnings and lower our winter weather dependency.
In short, we are diligently working to minimize the impact of market pressures which are beyond our control, while positioning our company for resiliency and building a high performance culture.
2017 Financial Highlights can be found in the CEO letter and in our 10-K filing.
|(In millions of U.S. Dollars)||2015||20161||2017|
|DIRECT ECONOMIC VALUE GENERATED|
|ECONOMIC VALUE DISTRIBUTED|
|Payments to Providers of Capital||$110.9||$128.2||$52.9|
|Payments to Governement||$55.3||$34.6||$60.0|
|ECONOMIC VALUE RETAINED|
|(Value Generated - Value Distributed)||$159.2||$162.7||$42.7|
NOTE: Please see the company’s 2017 Annual Report on Form 10-K for financial statements prepared in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
1 2016 results include three months of contribution from the Produquímica acquisition.