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SQM Reports Earnings For The Second Quarter 2014

SANTIAGO, Chile, Aug. 27, 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 six months ended June 30, 2014 of US$152.1 million (US$0.58 per ADR), a decrease from US$259.2 million (US$0.98 per ADR) for the six months ended June 30, 2013. Gross Margin2 reached US$300.2 million (28.4% of revenues) for the six months ended June 30, 2014, lower than US$426.7 million (35.9% of revenues) recorded for the six months ended June 30, 2013. Revenues totaled US$1,056.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014, representing a decrease of 11.2% compared to US$1,189.9 million reported for the six months ended June 30, 2013.

The Company also announced earnings for the second quarter of 2014, reporting net income of US$71.1 million (US$0.27 per ADR) compared to US$107.4 million (US$0.41 per ADR) for the second quarter of 2013. Gross Margin for the second quarter of 2014 reached US$145.3 million, lower than the US$187.8 million recorded for the second quarter of 2013. Revenues totaled US$522.3 million, a decrease of approximately 7.8% compared to the second quarter of 2013, when revenues amounted to US$566.5 million.

SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Patricio Contesse, stated, "The first half of 2014 has presented us with significant challenges within both the fertilizer and chemical markets. In the potash market, prices were over 20% lower than prices seen during the first half of last year; however, prices stabilized during the second quarter of 2014. We are seeing signs that prices may begin to recover in the coming months, and we expect SQM's sales volumes to be higher than the ones seen in 2013. In any case our cost position allows us to remain very competitive in this market. In our specialty plant nutrition business line, we see demand growth and remain optimistic about our strong position in the potassium nitrate market."

"While demand growth in the iodine market looks slightly stronger than demand growth seen in 2013, prices are decreasing. Prices for the first half of 2014 were almost 20% lower than average prices seen during the second half of 2013. As stated on the first quarter conference call, we are striving to get back to approximately 30% market share levels in the iodine market in the medium term. The lithium market demand growth is expected to reach 10% in 2014 – we also look forward to higher volumes this year compared to last year."

"We continue to work diligently on our cost reduction efforts, and look to finish the year with over US$60 million in cost savings. Finally, and most importantly, we continue to analyze our strategy in each of the markets in which we sell to maximize our long-term value."

For the complete version of this press release, please visit our IR Web site: http://ir.sqm.com/English/investor-relation/default.aspx

About SQM

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.

For further information contact:

Gerardo Illanes 56-2-24252022 / gerardo.illanes@sqm.com
Kelly O'Brien. 56-2-24252074 / kelly.obrien@sqm.com
Carolyn McKenzie 56-2-24252280 / carolyn.mckenzie@sqm.com

For media inquiries, contact: Rosalia Vera / rvera@imaginaccion.cl

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.

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