November 11, 2019 / 10:46 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Incitec Pivot posts drop in annual profit due to extreme weather

(Adds details on flood, outlook, fertiliser business review)

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Australia’s Incitec Pivot Ltd on Tuesday posted a 27% drop in annual profit, hurt by a flood and rail outage in the Queensland state and higher gas costs.

The fertiliser and explosives producer reported net profit after tax of A$152.4 million ($104.20 million), compared with A$207.9 million a year ago.

Floods in Queensland in February had forced the company to shut fertiliser plants at its Phosphate Hill facility after it was cut off by the closure of a railway line.

The company had warned in September that dry weather conditions and increased gas costs at the Gibson Island fertiliser plant in Queensland would dent its annual performance.

On Tuesday, Incitec said drought conditions in Queensland and New South Wales may impact irrigation water availability for its key summer crop markets in fiscal 2020, while signaling improved production at its Phosphate Hill plant.

The Melbourne-based company also said a strategic review of its fertiliser business is progressing, and a final decision will be made in fiscal 2020.

Meanwhile, the company also flagged higher earnings for its explosives business in the United States and Asia Pacific in fiscal 2020.

Incitec declared a final dividend of 3.4 Australian cents per share. ($1 = 1.4588 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)

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