UpdateLower volumes, higher costs weigh on ICL’s Q4 net profit

13 March 2013 12:39  [Source: ICIS news]

(Updates with segment data)

ICL produces fertilizers which are used in farmingLONDON (ICIS)--Israel Chemicals' (ICL) net income fell by 43% year on year to $209.5m (€161.3m) in the fourth quarter of last year as sales slipped on the back of a drop in potash shipments to India and China and lower average prices, the Israeli fertilizer and specialty chemicals producer said on Wednesday.

Its sales fell by 22% year on year to $1.34bn in the fourth quarter, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was down by 40% at $315.7m, the company said in a statement.

The company attributed the fourth-quarter fall to global economic headwinds, and a slowdown in the fertilizer market.

“The world economic environment is expected to continue impacting the sales of ICL industrial products and ICL performance products,” the company added.

Total operating profit for the company’s fertilizers segment was $140m for the quarter and $1.16bn for 2012, representing year-on-year declines of 62% and 17%, respectively.

Within fertilizers, potash operating profit was down 60% year on year during the quarter to $135m, as a result of lower sales volumes and prices, higher energy and input costs, and the depreciation of the euro against the dollar.

Operating profit for phosphates and other fertilizers was down 76% during the quarter to $7m due to lower volumes, higher energy and raw materials costs, and currency issues.

The industrial products segment was also hit by lower volumes and higher operating costs, falling by 58% to $27m during the quarter compared to the same period in 2011.

Performance products operating profit was up during the quarter at $32m compared to $27m in the fourth quarter of 2011, buoyed by higher prices.

Operating profits for the phosphates and industrial products segments were also impacted by early retirement plan charges, which came to $33m and $22m respectively.

For the full year, the company’s net profit fell by 14% year on year to $1.30bn, while sales was down by 5.6% at $6.67bn. Its EBITDA fell by 13% to $1.91bn.

 ($1 = €0.77)

Additional reporting by Nurluqman Suratman

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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