SANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 20, 2012 /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 nine months of 2012 of US$507.4 million ( US$1.93 per ADR), an increase of 31.2% with respect to the same period of 2011, when earnings totaled US$386.9 million ( US$1.47 per ADR). Gross margin reached US$794.3 million (43.4% of revenues), 24.3% higher than the US$638.9 million (39.8% of revenues) recorded during the first nine months of 2011. Revenues totaled US$1,828.2 million for the first nine months, representing an increase of 13.8% over the US$1,606.4 reported in the same period of 2011.
The Company also reported quarterly net income of US$165.2 million ( US$0.63 per ADR) compared with the 2011 figure of US$143.2 million ( US$0.54 per ADR). Third quarter gross margin for 2012 reached US$262.3 million, 8.5% higher than the US$241.7 million recorded for the same period of 2011. Revenues for this quarter totaled US$615.3 million, an increase of approximately 7.1% with respect to the third quarter of 2011, when revenues amounted to US$574.7 million.
Patricio Contesse, SQM's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Following the strong results posted in the first half of 2012, we are pleased to announce our financial results achieved during the third quarter. Margins have been driven primarily by increased prices in iodine and by increased sales volumes in the potassium, lithium, and industrial chemical business lines."
Mr. Contesse continued, "These strong results though, pose a new set of challenges for the next months. On one hand, potash price environment has been relatively unstable in the past weeks and difficult to predict for the near future. On the other hand, European economy slowdown is starting to show some effect in volumes across all our business lines. However, our unique commercial flexibility and operational synergies will allow us to continue maintaining our competitive advantage and to react and benefit to changing market needs."