Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile SA ADR SQM
Q3 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 11/21/2012

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Third Quarter 2012 SQM Earnings Conference Call. My name is Pawanda and I will be your coordinator for today. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the presentation over to Mr. Mark Fones, VP of Finance and IR. Please proceed, sir.

Mark Fones - IR: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to SQM's third quarter 2012 earnings conference call. For your information, this conference call will be recorded and is being webcast live. You may access the webcast later on our website

Joining me today 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 call concerning the Company's business and 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 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 now leave you with our CEO, Patricio Contesse for brief comments before we move to Q&A.

Patricio Contesse - CEO: Good afternoon and thank you for joining us. We posted strong earnings during the third quarter of 2012 and we are pleased to be able to discuss them with you this morning. Our results were led by increased average price in iodine and by increased sales and volumes in potassium and lithium and industrial chemical business line when compared to last year. In our iodine business line, prices remained high during the third quarter of 2012 and demand continues to grow at healthy rate, led primarily by x-ray contrast media and pharmaceutical application.

In the lithium market prices have increased over 10% in the first nine months of 2012 when compared to the first nine months of 2011. In the lithium market, demand continued to grow led by batteries, and as a result we should see our sales volume for lithium and derivatives increase over 10% compared to the sales of volumes in 2011.

As expected, sales of solar salts increased significantly and our salts revenue during the third quarter increased 80% year-on-year. However, we will likely see significant volume decrease in solar salts during 2013 as projects are delayed. This volume decrease should be temporary and we remain confident in the long-term potential of the solar salts business.

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