Severe winter weather benefits Conmpass Minerals

Compass Minerals on Monday reported an 8 percent increase in first-quarter profits as severe winter weather spurred sales of its hi-deicing salt products to their highest level since 2008.

The Overland Park- based seller of salt and specialty fertilzer, earned $50.2 million in the three months that ended March 31. Sales increased to $422 million from $383.7 million in the same quarter last year.

The company’s salt business reported an 8 percent increaase in sales, while specialty fertilizer sales climbed 22 percent from 2013’s first quarter.

“These improved market conditions have created positive momentum for both businesses for the remainder of 2014,” Fran Malecha, Compass Minerals’ president and chief executive said in a statement.

Compass said the number of “snow events” in the first quarter increased 77 percent from 2013’s first quarter. It said the weather factor benefited salt sales by $40 million to $50 million during the quarter and operating earnings by $8 million to $12 million.

The Star