SQM

SQM Reports Earnings for the Year 2008





SANTIAGO, Chile, February 25 /PRNewswire/ --

    Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock
Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for the year 2008 of US$501.4
million (US$1.91 per ADR), an increase of 179% over the 2007 figure of
US$180.0 million (US$0.68 per ADR). Operating income reached US$632.2 million
(35.6% of revenues), 144% higher than the US$259.5 million (21.9% of
revenues) recorded the previous year. Revenues for 2008 totaled US$1,774.1
million, representing growth of 49.4% over the US$1,187.5 million reported in
2007.



    The Company also announced year-over-year earnings growth of 170% for the
fourth quarter of 2008, reporting quarterly net income of US$120.3 million
(US$0.46 per ADR) compared to the 2007 figure of US$44.6 million (US$0.17 per
ADR). Operating income for the fourth quarter reached US$150.8 million, 151%
higher than the US$60.1 million recorded for the same period of 2007.
Revenues totaled US$397.9 million, an increase of approximately 29.9% with
respect to the fourth quarter of 2007, when revenues amounted to US$306.2
million.



    "SQM is pleased to announce yet another record year of growth in our
financial results in spite of global economic uncertainty. Since 2000, our
consolidated revenues have grown at a CAGR of 20% while our bottom line has
expanded at a CAGR of 50% due in large part to our strategic position in our
core markets and our continued commitment to efficiency," commented Patricio
Contesse, the Company's Chief Executive Officer. He added, "In general, SQM
benefited substantially this year from favorable pricing conditions in
Specialty Plant Nutrition and from higher sales volumes in Iodine and
Derivatives. Looking forward, the unprecedented turmoil in global markets
seen during the last part of the year will likely pose new challenges for the
Company in 2009. We believe, however, that the underlying fundamentals in our
core business lines remain solid and will allow us to face potential
challenges."



    For the complete version of this press release, please visit our Web
site: www.sqm.com.



    SQM is an integrated producer and distributor of specialty plant
nutrients, iodine and lithium. Its products are based on the development of
high quality natural resources that allow the Company to be leader in costs,
supported by a specialized international network with sales in over 100
countries. SQM's development strategy aims to maintain and strengthen the
Company's world leadership in its three core businesses: Specialty Plant
Nutrition, Iodine and Lithium.



    Statements in this press release concerning the Company's business
outlook, future economic performances, anticipated profitability, revenues,
expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or
service line growth, together with other statements that are not historical
facts, are "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under Federal
Securities Laws.



    Any forward-looking statements are estimates, reflecting the best
judgment of SQM based on currently available information and involve a number
of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to
differ materially from those stated in such statements. Risks, uncertainties,
and factors that could affect the accuracy of such forward-looking
statements, are identified in the public filing made with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, and forward-looking statements should be considered in
light of those factors.