SANTIAGO, Chile, May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for the first quarter of 2011 of US$111.4 million (US$0.42 per ADR), an increase of 45.6% with respect to the same period of 2010, when earnings totaled US$76.5 million (US$0.29 per ADR). Gross Margin reached US$187.6 million (39.1% of revenues), 42.7% higher than the US$131.5 million (33.8% of revenues) recorded during the first quarter of 2010. Revenues totaled US$480.0 million for the first quarter, representing an increase of 23.6% over the US$388.5 million reported in the same period of 2010.
SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Patricio Contesse, stated, "Robust demand in all of our business lines supported the solid earnings performance in the first quarter of 2011. Strong fertilizer market conditions drove growth in our SPN business line, and better pricing conditions in potash markets sustained our fertilizer business lines. Performance in our iodine and lithium segments was also strong, and current conditions in these markets should create unique opportunities to capture growth and increase our presence in the coming months."
Mr. Contesse continued, "We have observed a return to historical growth rates in our main markets, and we expect this healthy demand trend to continue in the following quarters of the year. Although market conditions continue to improve, we will face some pressure in terms of higher energy and labor costs. We remain optimistic about the remainder of 2011 as underlying fundamentals in each of our markets remain positive, and SQM continues to position itself to capitalize current market conditions."
For the complete version of this press release, please visit our Web site: http://www.sqm.com.
SQM is an integrated producer and distributor of specialty plant nutrients, iodine, lithium, potassium-related fertilizers and industrial chemicals. 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 position in each of its businesses.
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Statements in this press release concerning the Company's business outlook, future economic performances, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or service line growth, together with other statements that are not historical facts, are "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under Federal Securities Laws.
Any forward-looking statements are estimates, reflecting the best judgment of SQM based on currently available information and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in such statements. Risks, uncertainties, and factors that could affect the accuracy of such forward-looking statements, are identified in the public filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and forward-looking statements should be considered in light of those factors.