Mosaic Plans 500 Job Cuts, Reports Lower Profits

Mosaic will “eliminate only a small number of positions in Plymouth,” where the company is headquartered.

The Mosaic Company plans to eliminate more than 500 positions in the next year, CEO Jim Prokopanko said in a Tuesday conference call, during which the company reported lower earnings and revenue.

A company spokesman told Twin Cities Business, however, that the company plans to eliminate “only a small number of positions in Plymouth,” where Mosaic is headquartered. Mosaic, a massive fertilizer producer, was formed in 2004 after Wayzata-based Cargill combined its crop nutrition business with a phosphate mining company.

Today, Mosaic is one of Minnesota's 15 largest public companies, but it has operations (and employees) in many countries, including at mining operations in Florida, Canada, and elsewhere. It has about 250 employees in Minnesota.

The Mosaic spokesman said the cuts are occurring worldwide, and they include previously announced reductions in the company’s potash business, the pending divestiture of operations in Chile and Argentina, and the planned closure of a Florida mine.

“For additional reductions we will rely on attrition, elimination of contractors, and early retirements, but unfortunately, there will also be employee layoffs,” he said. “We will eliminate only a small number of positions in Plymouth.”

For the quarter that ended March 31, Mosaic reported earnings of $218 million, down more than 42 percent from $380 million during the same period a year ago. Its revenue, meanwhile, totaled $2 billion, down from $2.3 billion during last year's first quarter. The company said that higher sales volumes of its phosphate and potash products were more than offset by lower prices.

“Mosaic delivered another quarter of solid results amid improving global demand for both phosphate and potash,” Prokopanko said in a statement. “While weather continued to create challenges in the operating environment, strong global demand for phosphates pushed prices and margins higher during the first three months of the year, and our early positioning of potash in North America allowed for significant volume growth.”

Shares of Mosaic’s stock were trading down about 2.3 percent at $48.56 Tuesday afternoon.