SANTIAGO, Chile, March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM or the Company) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for 2012 of US$649.2 million ( US$2.47 per ADR), an increase of 18.9% with respect to 2011, in which earnings totaled US$545.7 million ( US$2.07 per ADR). Gross margin reached US$1,028.6 million (42.3% of revenues), 20.3% higher than the US$854.8 million (39.8% of revenues) recorded during 2011. Revenues totaled US$2,429.2 million for 2012, representing an increase of 13.2% over the US$2,145.3 million reported in 2011.
The Company also reported quarterly net income of US$141.8 million ( US$0.54 per ADR) compared with the 2011 figure of US$158.9 million ( US$0.60 per ADR). Fourth quarter gross margin for 2012 reached US$234.3 million, 8.5% higher than the US$215.9 million recorded for the same period of 2011. Revenues for this quarter totaled US$601.0 million, an increase of approximately 11.5% with respect to the fourth quarter of 2011, when revenues amounted to US$538.9 million.
Patricio Contesse, SQM's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are pleased with our performance throughout 2012. We posted higher sales volumes and revenues in our potassium, industrial chemical and lithium and derivatives business line when compared to 2011. Additionally, we saw increased revenues and margins in our iodine business line. We finalized some major capital investments during 2012, including an expansion in the Salar de Atacama, which allowed us to increase our potassium production and increased flexibility in 2012; expansions in this area will continue and will grant us higher volumes in our potassium products in the future."Mr. Contesse continued, "We will continue our growth and expansion strategy into 2013, and as always, we are constantly evaluating all opportunities that we believe would positively complement our current core businesses or in which we believe we may have sustainable competitive advantages. We have recently seen increased downward price pressures in the fertilizer markets, and understand that broader financial markets, specifically in Europe, will have an impact on our business in 2013. However, we believe our unique synergies, diverse products and our various competitive advantages will support us in our effort to maximize shareholder value and profits in the coming year." 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, 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 100 countries. SQM's development strategy aims to maintain and strengthen the Company's position in each of its businesses.
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