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SQM Reports Earnings for the First Half of 2009
Posted by: gurufocus (IP Logged)
Date: August 11, 2009 10:17PM

Press Release: SQM Reports Earnings for the First Half of 2009

SANTIAGO, Chile, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for the first half of 2009 of US$169.4 million (US$0.64 per ADR), a decrease of 11.1% with respect to the same period of 2008, when earnings totaled US$190.5 million (US$0.72 per ADR). Operating income reached US$231.9 million (34.8% of revenues), 4.3% lower than the US$242.3 million (30.8% of revenues) recorded during the first half of 2008. Revenues totaled US$665.7 million for the first six months, representing a decrease of 15.4% over the US$787.1 million reported in the same period of 2008.

The Company also announced a year-over-year earnings decline of 33.9% for the second quarter of 2009, reporting quarterly net income of US$83.1 million (US$0.32 per ADR) compared to the 2008 figure of US$125.7 million (US$0.48 per ADR). Operating income for the second quarter reached US$112.4 million, 28.0% lower than the US$156.1 million recorded for the same period of 2008. Revenues totaled US$344.8 million, a decrease of approximately 25.2% with respect to the second quarter of 2008, when revenues amounted to US$460.8 million.

Patricio Contesse, SQM\'s Chief Executive Officer, stated, "The first half of 2009 has proven to be challenging for the Company. During the first six months of the year we observed an important reduction in sales volumes, consistent with the prevailing global economic conditions and the uncertainty regarding prices in the potassium industry. However, sales volumes in the different industries in which we participate have started to recover, and we believe that volumes for the second half of the year will be higher than those observed in the first half of 2009." He continued, "The need for potassium to ensure healthy plant development and to maximize yields, combined with the newly negotiated price in India, should stimulate demand in key potassium markets. We are already seeing signs of recovery in our Specialty Plant Nutrition business line, and we believe that demand in general has reached a turning point."

Regarding potassium chloride, Mr. Contesse concluded, "We continue to move forward with our expansion plans that will allow us to double our sales volumes of potash in 2010."

For the complete version of this press release, please visit our Web site:

SQM is an integrated producer and distributor of specialty plant nutrients, iodine and lithium. Its products are based on the development of high quality natural resources that allow the Company to be leader in costs, supported by a specialized international network with sales in over 100 countries. SQM\'s development strategy aims to maintain and strengthen the Company\'s world leadership in its three core businesses: Specialty Plant Nutrition, Iodine and Lithium.

For further information, contact:
    Patricio Vargas, 56-2-4252274 /
    Mary Laverty, 56-2-4252074 /
    Carolina Rojas, 56-2-4252250 /

    For media inquiries, contact:
    Fernanda Guerra, 56-2-4252027 /

Source: PRNewsWire

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