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Agrium Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Certain material assumptions were applied in making these conclusions of forecast. Therefore, actual results could differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking information. Additional information about these factors and assumptions are contained in our current quarterly report to our shareholders, as well as in our most recent annual report, MD&A and annual information form filed with Canadian and U.S. Securities Commissions, to which we direct you.

I will now turn the call over to Mr. Mike Wilson.

Michael M. Wilson

Thank you, Richard, and welcome, to everyone joining us today. It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to review Agrium's second quarter results with you and provide an overview of our outlook for the crop input market as we look ahead the to rest of the year. Agrium's ability to capitalize on the strength and the agricultural fundamentals was on full display this quarter as we delivered net earnings of $5.44 per diluted share, which made the second quarter and first half of 2012 the strongest in company history.

Our outstanding performances quarter was a result of strong earnings for all 3 of our business units, including record EBITDA for both Retail and Wholesale as we benefited from our significant competitive advantages and strong earnings leverage across the crop input sector. Our geographic and product diversity also enabled us to capture additional value this quarter, stemming from results in our crop production business and robust demand for crop inputs in late spring from Western Canada and the northern U.S. plains.

In addition to delivering excellent operational results, we also took the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to returning capital to shareholders this quarter by more than doubling our semiannual dividend to $0.50 per share, our second substantial increase since December. We firmly believe that the proven strategy and strength across all of our businesses, combined with our solid and stable cash flow generation, will afford us the opportunity to continue to deliver achieving our growth objectives, while also enabling us to continue to provide further increases in return of excess capital to shareholders.

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