SQM Reports Earnings for 2010

Mar 02, 2011, 08:43 ET from SQM

SANTIAGO, Chile, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for 2010 of US$382.1 million (US$1.45 per ADR), an increase of 13.0% with respect to 2009, when earnings totaled US$338.3 million (US$1.29 per ADR). Gross Margin reached US$626.0 million (34.2% of revenues), 18.1% higher than the US$530.2 million (36.9% of revenues) recorded during 2009. Revenues totaled US$1,830.4 million for 2010, representing an increase of 27.2% over the US$1,438.7 million reported in the same period of 2009.

The Company also announced a year-over-year earnings increase of 34.1% for the fourth quarter of 2010, reporting quarterly net income of US$105.8 million (US$0.40 per ADR) compared to the 2009 figure of US$78.9 million (US$0.30 per ADR). Gross Margin for the fourth quarter reached US$171.6 million, 39.9% higher than the US$122.7 million recorded for the same period of 2009. Revenues totaled US$505.7 million, an increase of approximately 30.8% with respect to the fourth quarter of 2009, when revenues amounted to US$386.5 million.

Patricio Contesse, SQM's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "After consistent performance in each quarter of the year, we finished 2010 with solid results. We observed strong volumes across all of our product lines as market conditions in all of our business segments surpassed our initial expectations for 2010, moving past 2009 lows. We observed healthy volume recovery that in some cases exceeded pre-crisis levels. In fact, we posted record sales volumes in our iodine and lithium businesses, which reflects the strong fundamentals of our markets."  

Mr. Contesse concluded, "The first months of 2011 have followed 2010's upward trend, and we remain optimistic about the coming year. In these normalized conditions, we anticipate more moderate growth trends compared to 2010 recovery as markets return to historical levels of expansion. SQM remains uniquely positioned to capture this future growth, and we remain fully committed to capitalizing on our competitive advantages."

For the complete version of this press release, please visit our Web site: www.sqm.com.

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:

Mary Laverty, 56-2-4252074 / mary.laverty@sqm.com

Isabel Bendeck, 56-2-4252058 / isabel.bendeck@sqm.com

Mark Fones, 56-2-4252485 / mark.fones@sqm.com

For media inquiries, contact:

Fabiola Scianca, 56-2-4252027 / fabiola.scianca@sqm.com

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.