SANTIAGO, Chile, May 28, 2013 /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 2013 of US$151.8 million ( US$0.58 per ADR), an increase of 1.2% with respect to the same period of 2012, when earnings totaled US$150.0 million ( US$0.57 per ADR). Gross Margin2 reached US$238.9 million (38.3% of revenues), 1.1% higher than the US$263.3 million (44.6% of revenues) recorded during the first quarter of 2012. Revenues totaled US$623.4 million for the first quarter, representing an increase of 17.7% over the US$529.6 million reported in the same period of 2012.
SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Patricio Contesse, stated, "Gross profit during the first quarter of 2013 was slightly better than both the first and last quarter of 2012; however, we expect the remainder of 2013 to be lower than the first part of this year. It is anticipated that total market demand for potash will exceed market demand seen in 2012, although we have seen the impact of lower prices in our fertilizers markets. In the chemical markets we are seeing healthy demand growth, where new entrants to the lithium and iodine markets will capture some market share this year. For 2014 we expect markets to continue evolving positively and our sales to evolve accordingly."
Mr. Contesse continued, "During this year, we will continue our major capital expenditures focused on increasing production is the Salar de Atacama; these expansions will give us the flexibility to help meet market demands in the future."
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.