SANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) ( NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for the nine months ended September 30, 2014 of US$218.4 million (US$0.83 per ADR), a decrease from US$398.1 million (US$1.51 per ADR) for the nine months ended September 30, 2013. Gross margin reached US$442.6 million (29.1% of revenues) for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, lower than US$575.2 million (33.6% of revenues) recorded for the nine months ended September 30, 2013. Revenues totaled US$1,522.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2014, representing a decrease of 11.0% compared to US$1,710.9 million reported for the nine months ended September 30, 2013.
The Company also announced earnings for the third quarter of 2014, reporting net income of US$66.4 million (US$0.25 per ADR) compared to US$138.9 million (US$0.53 per ADR) for the third quarter of 2013. However, this comparison is affected by the sale of royalties for the Antucoya mining project during the third quarter of 2013, which had a one-time, after-tax effect of US$67 million on net income. Gross margin for the third quarter of 2014 reached US$142.4 million, lower than the US$148.5 million recorded for the third quarter of 2013. Revenues totaled US$466.4 million, a decrease of approximately 10.5% compared to the third quarter of 2013, when revenues amounted to US$521.1 million.
SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Patricio Contesse, stated, "Despite the pricing pressure we have seen in the iodine and potash industries, which has impacted revenues, this quarter's EBITDA margin is the highest we have reported for the last six quarters. EBITDA was higher for the third quarter of this year than it was for the third quarter of last year, even in the face of lower iodine and potash prices. This is proof of the success of our cost reduction efforts."
"Iodine prices have continued the downward trend we saw in the first half of the year. However, as we mentioned last quarter, we have seen some price recovery in the potash market, and our sales volumes are up with respect to 2013. Supply shortages in the potassium sulfate market have had a positive effect on pricing and have also benefited demand for potassium nitrate, as an alternative chlorine-free fertilizer. In the lithium market, demand continues to be driven by batteries, and we expect to see less new supply from other producers than we previously anticipated."
"Going past the third quarter, in October we placed a bond in the U.S. market for US$250 million, with a coupon rate of U.S. treasury plus 215 basis points, which will mature in 2025. We are pleased with the results of this transaction. Finally, we recently completed a sale of mining rights to Antofagasta Minerals for US$13 million before taxes, which will be reflected in our fourth quarter results."
For the complete version of this press release, please visit our IR Web site: http://ir.sqm.com/English/investor-relation/default.aspx
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 a leader in costs, supported by a specialized international network with sales in over 115 countries. SQM's development strategy aims to maintain and strengthen the Company's position in each of its businesses.
The leadership strategy is based on the Company's competitive advantages and on the sustainable growth of the different markets in which it participates. SQM's main competitive advantages in its different businesses include:
- Low production costs based on vast and high quality natural resources;
- Know-how and its own technological developments in its various production processes;
- Logistics infrastructure and high production levels that allow SQM to have low distribution costs;
- High market share in all its core products;
- International sales network with offices in 20 countries and sales in over 115 countries;
- Synergies from the production of multiple products that are obtained from the same two natural resources;
- Continuous new product development according to the specific needs of its different customers;
- Conservative and solid financial position.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "plan," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make concerning the Company's business outlook, future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or service line growth.
Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are estimates that reflect the best judgment of SQM management based on currently available information. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that are outside of our control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in such statements. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements. Readers are referred to the documents filed by SQM with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent annual report on Form 20-F, which identifies important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to SQM on the date hereof and SQM assumes no obligation to update such statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
SOURCE Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, S.A.