Israel Chemicals profit soars in 2017

Asher Grinbaum Photo: Eli Yizhar

The company reported a fourfold rise in profit for the fourth quarter.

Israel Chemicals (TASE: ICL: NYSE: ICL) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2017.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $1.361 billion compared with $1.338 billion for the corresponding quarter of 2016. The company's revenue for 2017 was $5.42 billion compared with $5.36 billion in 2016. The company benefited from a 10% rise in global potash prices in the last quarter of 2017.

Israel Chemicals net profit in the fourth quarter was $155 million, up 383% from the fourth quarter of 2016. The company's profit for the entire year was $364 million compared with a loss of $122 million in 2016.

Israel Chemicals acting CEO, Asher Grinbaum said, “I am proud to report that ICL demonstrated achievements across many financial parameters in 2017 - in sales, operating margins, net profit, free cash flow and net debt. In addition to increasing our financial stability during 2017 by controlling CapEx, optimizing working capital and reducing our G&A expenses, we significantly reduced losses at our YPH JV in China, successfully continued our process of divesting from low-synergy assets, including ICL’s holdings in IDE Technologies and our fire safety and oil additives businesses, for an aggregate $1.2 billion. We also grew our Specialty Fertilizer business despite commodity headwinds and accelerated the transfer of production at ICL UK from potash to Polysulphate, growing Polysulphate sales by around 50%. In addition, we entered into a long-term, beneficial agreement for the supply of natural gas to power our Israel-based facilities. A major overhang on our shares was also removed following Potash Corp’s sale of its entire stake in ICL in January 2018. Our ongoing efforts to strengthen ICL’s financial position and to balance our specialties and commodities businesses, combined with our unique mineral assets and value chain, unparalleled global production and logistics platform and dedicated and talented 13,000 employees, position ICL well to achieve further growth and increased value in 2018 and the years ahead”.

Israel Chemicals chairman Johanan Locker added, “ICL’s results in 2017 demonstrate management’s successful execution of the Board’s strategic direction. ICL has successfully divested low-synergy assets which have helped to reduce debt, enhance financial stability and create additional resources for future growth. Looking forward, ICL will focus on its core businesses aiming to further strengthen the competitiveness of its existing mineral assets while expanding our specialty businesses. In addition, ICL will combine its capabilities in the agriculture market with the growing use of precision agriculture, to significantly expand its specialty solutions portfolio to this market. The company’s successful efforts increase our confidence in our ability to weather market challenges while building value for our stakeholders.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on February 14, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Asher Grinbaum Photo: Eli Yizhar
Asher Grinbaum Photo: Eli Yizhar
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