20 May 2009 08:52 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Israel Chemicals Limited (ICL) said on Wednesday it has booked a 54% plunge in first quarter net profits to $158.8m (€115.9m) due to a sharp decrease in volumes sold across the company’s business units.
Revenue for the three months to 31 March came in 41% lower year on year at $898.5m while operating income was down 56% to $205.6m.
ICL said earnings could have been even lower but higher selling prices of some products such as potash had partially mitigated the full effects of the decline in demand for fertilizer products.
ICL’s largest business arm, ICL Fertilizers, reported the largest drop in sales of 61% to $371m during the period while turnover from its Industrial Products and Performance Products segment booked relatively modest volume declines of 27% and 4.7% respectively.
“Despite the current global economic crisis and the continued relative weakness of short-term market demand, the company believes that the fundamentals driving long-term demand for fertilizers have not changed materially,” ICL said.
“The current decline in demand for fertilizers and reductions in the application of fertilizers is likely to lead to further depletion of world grain inventories, a development that is expected to lead to price rises for grains and fertilizers in the future,” it added.
($1 = €0.73)
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