Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the First Quarter 2012 SQM Earnings Conference Call. My name is Jeff, and I'll be your coordinator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will facilitate a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.
I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Mr. Mark Fones, Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations. You have the floor, sir.
Mark Fones - IR: Good afternoon, everyone and welcome to SQM's first quarter 2012 earnings conference call. For your information this conference will be recorded and is being webcast live. You may access the webcast later on at our website www.sqm.com. Joining me today our speakers are; Patricio Contesse, Chief Executive Officer; Patricio Solminihac, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and Ricardo Ramos, CFO.
Before we begin, let me remind you that statements in this conference concerning the Company's business outlook, future economic performances, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies, and product or service line growth, together with other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements as that term is defined under the Federal Securities Laws.
Any forward-looking statements or estimates, reflecting the best judgment of SQM based on currently available information and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in such statements. Risks, uncertainties and factors that could affect the accuracy of such forward-looking statements, are identified in the public filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and forward-looking statements should be considered in light of those factors.
I'll now leave you with our CEO, Patricio Contesse for brief comments before we move to Q&A.
Patricio Contesse G. - CEO: Good morning, and thank you for joining us. We posted strong earnings during the first quarter of 2012 and we're pleased to be able to discuss them with you this morning. Our positive start to the year and strong results were a result of increased average prices in all business lines when compared to the first quarter of 2011, and increase in gross margin.
In our iodine business line the market has remained tight and pricing were up 10% when compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, while cost pressure has remained relatively stable. We continue to see strong demand from all users of iodine. In this (strengthened) market demand continues to grow, as a result of which we see our sales volumes for lithium and derivatives increase over 10% compared to the sales volume in 2011.
In terms of (indiscernible) revenue in our Potassium business line we are up compared to the first quarter of last year. Recently, we have seen signs of improvement in global potash demand and we (indiscernible) in countries like Brazil, etcetera. In SPN volumes were down as a result of increased supply and demand was lower than expected. We remain confident that this market will recover during the remainder of 2012.