JERUSALEM Feb 12 Israel Chemicals (ICL)
reported lower fourth-quarter net profit and said the
recovery of potash demand seen in 2013 was continuing in 2014.
In preliminary unaudited results, ICL - the world's
sixth-largest producer of potash - said on Wednesday it earned
$119 million in the October-December period, compared with $208
million a year earlier. Revenue rose 9 percent to $1.42 billion.
Excluding an early retirement programme at one of its plants
and a special tax payment, ICL said quarterly profit fell 21
percent to $195 million.
ICL was forecast to record net income of $168 million on
revenue of $1.32 billion, according to a Reuters poll.
The company said it paid a one-time tax expense of $118
million for the release of $1.07 billion in trapped earnings,
profit of multinationals after they had been provided with tax
exemptions as incentive for capital investments in Israel.
In 2013, ICL said it sold 5.04 million tonnes of potash,
compared with 4.63 million in 2012.
"The increased volume of sales compensated for lower prices.
The recovery in demand continued into 2014," ICL said.
ICL, which said it continues to prepare to list its shares
on the New York Stock Exchange, will pay a special one-time
dividend of $500 million in March.
Its Tel Aviv-listed shares were up 0.4 percent in morning