Israel Chemicals (TASE: ICL: NYSE: ICL) today reported its results for the second quarter of the year, with revenue down from $1.377 billion in the second quarter of 2016 to $1.322 billion in the second quarter of this year, a 4% drop. The company attributed the decline in sales to three causes: a decrease in quantitative sales of phosphate fertilizers and phosphoproteins, partially offset by larger quantitative sales of potash to Asia and South America, and of acids; lower prices, caused mainly by lower sale prices for phosphate fertilizers and phosphoric acid; and the depreciation of the euro and the Chinese yuan against the dollar, in comparison with the corresponding quarter last year.
Operating profit was down 6.1% to $153 million, and net profit plunged from $120 million in the second quarter of last year to $57 million in the second quarter of this year, a 57% decrease.
Israel Chemicals acting CEO Asher Grinbaum said, "In the second quarter, we continued our successful efforts to cut management and general expenses and to generate a sustainable positive cash flow. Our special solutions division continued its steady performance, thanks to a line of advanced additives resulting from good sales of phosphoric acid and fire safety products, in addition to a consistent operating profit from the division's industrial products. In our agricultural division, potash prices continued to stabilize in the spot markets, supported by higher prices for potash contracts signed recently in China, while the phosphate fertilizer market is still volatile, with continued falls in market prices in the current quarter. We still face a challenging business environment in the commodities markets, and are focusing on operating excellence and efficiency in order to improve the competitive position of our assets. As a result, and owing to our reduced exposure to phosphate fertilizers and our joint YPH venture in China, there were significant operating improvements in this quarter."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on August 3, 2017
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