ICL (TASE: ICL: NYSE: ICL) (formerly Israel Chemicals) today reported strong financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021. Consolidated sales of $1.510 billion were up $191 million, or 14% from the corresponding quarter of 2020.
Operating income of $185 million was up $53 million or 40% from the first quarter of 2020 and net profit rose to $135 million in the first quarter, up 125% from the first quarter of 2020. EBITDA was $295 million, up $45 million.
ICL also announced the distribution of a dividend of $0.5.25 per share totaling $67 million, which will be paid by June 16.
Average potash realized price per ton of $257, 3% higher year-over-year, indicating recent price increases will have additional impact going forward.
ICL president and CEO Raviv Zoller said, "In the first quarter of 2021, ICL delivered quarterly sales of $1.5 billion for the first time since 2014. We executed on our growth strategy, which resulted in record results across all our specialty businesses. We also saw continued strong cash generation and margin expansion, which was supported by improved market fundamentals."
He added, "Specifically, our Industrial Products division reported record sales and EBITDA - as it continued to grow, due to a shift to long-term contracts - and saw strong demand returning to most of its end-markets. Phosphate and Food Specialties helped to deliver record sales and EBITDA, which was up more than 60%, following 18 months of steady growth - driven by product innovation and cost efficiencies - as the business continued to shift to specialties. Innovative Ag Solutions also had a remarkable quarter, with double digit growth and higher margins. This business benefitted from our unified sales and marketing organization, as well as from higher volumes and improved product mix."
"For the first quarter, IAS profitability was greater than for all of 2019, and we are poised for further growth as we expand our footprint in Brazil," concluded Zoller.
ICL's share price rose 1.62% on Wall Street yesterday to $6.88, giving a market cap of $8.805 billion. ICL's share rice is currently 2.55% higher on the TASE.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 6, 2021
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