SANTIAGO, Chile, March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --
- SQM reported net income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 of US$164.5 million.
- Revenues during 2020 were US$1,817.2 million.
- SQM will hold a conference call to discuss these results on Thursday, March 4 at 10:00am ET (12:00pm Chile time).
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Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) today reported net income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 of US$164.5 million (US$0.63 per ADR), a decrease from US$278.1 million (US$1.06 per ADR) reported for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019. The net income was affected by a settlement fee related to a class action lawsuit against the Company in the United States which had a one-time, before-tax effect of US$62.5 million.
Gross profit reached US$482.9 million (26.6% of revenues) for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, lower than US$560.1 million (28.8% of revenues) recorded for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019. Revenues totaled US$1,817.2 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, representing a decrease of 6.5% compared to US$1,943.7 million reported for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019.
The Company also announced earnings for the fourth quarter of 2020, reporting net income of US$67.0 million (US$0.25 per ADR) compared to US$66.9 million (US$0.25 per ADR) for the fourth quarter of 2019. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 reached US$132.5 million; approximately 3.9% lower than the US$137.8 million recorded for the fourth quarter of 2019. Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2020 totaled US$513.8 million, an increase of approximately 8.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, when revenues amounted to US$472.2 million.
SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Ricardo Ramos, stated: "Last year was particularly positive from an operational point of view. As a result of the effort and dedication of all of our workers, we were able to successfully implement effective protocols which allowed us to maintain our production facilities operating throughout the year. Despite the different restrictions implemented aimed at prioritizing the health of our workers, collaborators and nearby communities, we were able to exceed all our original goals related to production volumes, sustainability, cost and quality in all of our business lines."
He continued, "In particular, I want to highlight our lithium carbonate operations, in which our production surpassed 70,000 metric tons in 2020 and in which all quality indices exceeded our objectives for the year. Our production trends remain very positive, during the first two months of 2021, we have produced more than 7,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate per month. All of the above allows us to be optimistic about our goal of completing our new lithium carbonate expansion, which is expected to reach 120,000 metric tons by the end of this year and 180.000 metric tons at the end of 2023. Another significant milestone in 2020 was the compliance with quantity, logistics capacity and strict quality control of solar salt shipments that exceeded 160,000 metric tons. We believe that that we are prepared to satisfy the market needs with the annual volumes of over 200,000 metric tons of solar salts."
He closed by saying, "The fourth quarter was not only the quarter with the highest operating margin of the year, but it also set a historical record for lithium sales volumes. We sold more than 25,000 metric tons and complied with all logistics, production and quality restrictions, a clear sign that we are prepared to continue to grow rapidly as one of the main lithium suppliers for the battery industry. Our lithium sales volumes rose more than 40% in the year despite the market growing approximately 6%, proving that we have indisputable competitive advantages related to production costs and capacity, logistics response and high-quality production."
"We continue to focus diligently on our Sustainable Development Plan and are proud to announce that we are the first lithium mining company in the world to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA). For years, we have built a sustainable operation in an effort to protect the environment, our communities and contribute to sustainable industries. Becoming a Pending Member of IRMA in our operations in the Salar de Atacama, helps us to consolidate best practices to address environmental, social and governance challenges," affirmed Mr. Ramos.
IRMA certification is an initiative that promotes responsible mining practices, providing verification at a global level. Full Membership is expected to be attained when we commence a publicly announced independent audit based on the IRMA Standard. This is a new step in the company's commitment to the environment, communities and the contribution to sustainable industries that is reflected in our robust sustainability plan and human rights policy.
This pending membership is part of our commitment to a high level of transparency, seeking public reportability of the objectives we established related to environmental matters, sustainable operations and social responsibility. This membership is also linked to the role we play in the value chain of strategic industries for human development, among these being the revolution in the electric vehicle market and sustainable mobility.
SQM is a global company that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Santiago Stock Exchange (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A). SQM develops and produces diverse products for several industries essential for human progress, such as health, nutrition, renewable energy and technology through innovation and technological development. We aim to maintain our leading world position in the lithium, potassium nitrate, iodine and thermo-solar salts markets by:
- Ensuring access to the best assets related to our current business lines by expanding our global presence;
- Actively searching for attractive minerals allowing us diversification opportunities to replicate and expand our existing mining capacities;
- Strengthening our operational, logistical and commercial excellence process from beginning to end, while looking to be a cost leader; and
- Maintaining a conservative financial policy which allows us to successfully endure economic cycles that could impact the markets in which we sell.
We are a company built and managed by a culture based on excellence, safety, sustainability and integrity. We work every day to expand this culture through the attraction, retention and development of talent as well encouraging an inclusive and diverse work environment ensuring the unique knowledge and innovation needed to sustain our business. We strive for safe and accident-free operations by promoting conduct that favors the physical safety and psychological well-being of everyone who works directly and indirectly with the Company.
We position ourselves as leaders in sustainability and commit to a sustainable future where we constantly work to responsibly manage natural resources, protect human rights, care for the environment, form close and trusting relationships with our neighboring communities and create value. Within these communities, we support projects and activities with a focus on education, business development, and protection of the environment and historical heritage. We create value for our clients through established commercial models and the production and development of differentiated products that respond to their industry and market specific needs, constantly creating and providing a sustainable improvement in the quality of life. We will continue to create value for all of our stakeholders through responsible management of natural resources, sustainable expansion projects and improvement of our existing operations, with a focus on minimizing our environmental impacts by reducing our carbon, energy and water footprints and working together with our shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and communities.
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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: "anticipate," "plan," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "strategy," "should," "will" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make concerning the Company's capital expenditures, financing sources, Sustainable Development Plan, business outlook, future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or service line growth.
Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are estimates that reflect the best judgment of SQM management based on currently available information. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that are outside of our control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in such statements, including our ability to successfully implement the Sustainable Development Plan. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements. Readers are referred to the documents filed by SQM with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent annual report on Form 20-F, which identifies other important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to SQM on the date hereof and SQM assumes no obligation to update such statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.
SOURCE Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, S.A. (SQM)