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ICL swings to profit in 3Q17

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World Fertilizer,

According to Reuters, Israel Chemicals (ICL) has announced that it has swung to a profit in 3Q17, reporting its highest quarterly sales in three years.

Profits were reportedly boosted by growth in its advanced additives business. ICL produces approximately one-third of the world’s bromine, and is the world’s sixth largest producer of potash. Reuters reports that the company reported net income in the quarter of US$84 million (this is compared to a US$340 million loss a year earlier).

According to Reuters, ICL’s revenue increased by 4.1% to reach US$1.4 billion. The company claims that this increase was driven by increased demand for fire safety products at its advanced additives business, following wildfires in Europe and North America.

Reportedly, this growth more than offset weaker sales in phosphate fertilizers. Nevertheless, ICL reportedly said that it did benefit from more favourable pricing in potash and bromine based products relative to the prior period. External sales of potash increased by 2% to reach US$1.32 billion and the average price for potash increased by 9% to reach US$217/t.

The acting chief executive, Asher Grinbaum, said: “We remain committed to balancing our business by growing our specialty businesses which, for the first time, accounted for over half of our sales as well as nearly 70% of our operating profit in the third quarter.”

ICL holds exclusive rights in Israel to mine minerals from the Dead Sea. According to Reuters, the company confirmed that it would pay a quarterly dividend of approximately US$57 million.

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