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SQM Reports Earnings for the Third Quarter of 2012

SANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for the first nine months of 2012 of US$507.4 million (US$1.93 per ADR), an increase of 31.2% with respect to the same period of 2011, when earnings totaled US$386.9 million (US$1.47 per ADR). Gross margin reached US$794.3 million (43.4% of revenues), 24.3% higher than the US$638.9 million (39.8% of revenues) recorded during the first nine months of 2011. Revenues totaled US$1,828.2 million for the first nine months, representing an increase of 13.8% over the US$1,606.4 reported in the same period of 2011.

The Company also reported quarterly net income of US$165.2 million (US$0.63 per ADR) compared with the 2011 figure of US$143.2 million (US$0.54 per ADR). Third quarter gross margin for 2012 reached US$262.3 million, 8.5% higher than the US$241.7 million recorded for the same period of 2011. Revenues for this quarter totaled US$615.3 million, an increase of approximately 7.1% with respect to the third quarter of 2011, when revenues amounted to US$574.7 million.

Patricio Contesse, SQM's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Following the strong results posted in the first half of 2012, we are pleased to announce our financial results achieved during the third quarter. Margins have been driven primarily by increased prices in iodine and by increased sales volumes in the potassium, lithium, and industrial chemical business lines."

Mr. Contesse continued, "These strong results though, pose a new set of challenges for the next months.  On one hand, potash price environment has been relatively unstable in the past weeks and difficult to predict for the near future.  On the other hand, European economy slowdown is starting to show some effect in volumes across all our business lines.  However, our unique commercial flexibility and operational synergies will allow us to continue maintaining our competitive advantage and to react and benefit to changing market needs."

For the complete version of this press release, please visit our Web site: www.sqm.com.

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 100 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 more than 20 countries and sales in over 100 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:

Kelly O'Brien. 56-2-4252074 / kelly.obrien@sqm.com
Constanza Schulz 56-2-4252058 / constanza.schulz@sqm.com
Mark Fones. 56-2-4252271 / mark.fones@sqm.com

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

Statements in this press release 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 in defined under Federal Securities Laws.

Any forward-looking statements are estimates that reflect the best judgment of SQM management 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 should be considered in light of those factors.

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