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Tuesday 28 October, 2008

SQM

SQM Reports Earnings for the First Nine Months ...





SANTIAGO, Chile, October 28 /PRNewswire/ --

    Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock
Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for the first nine months of
2008 of US$381.1 million (US$1.45 per ADR), an increase of 181% with respect
to the same period of 2007, when earnings totaled US$135.4 million (US$0.51
per ADR). Operating income reached US$481.4 million (35.0% of revenues), 141%
higher than the US$199.4 million (22.6% of revenues) recorded during the
first nine months of 2007. Revenues for the first nine months of 2008 totaled
US$1,376.2 million, representing growth of 56% over the US$881.3 million
reported in the same period of 2007.



    The Company also announced year-over-year earnings growth of 359% for the
third quarter of 2008, reporting quarterly net income of US$190.6 million
(US$0.72 per ADR) compared to the 2007 figure of US$41.5 million (US$0.16 per
ADR). Operating income for the third quarter reached US$239.1 million, 256%
higher than the US$67.2 million recorded for the same period of 2007.
Revenues totaled US$589.1 million, an increase of approximately 83% with
respect to the third quarter of 2007, when revenues amounted to 
US$322.5 million.



    SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Patricio Contesse, stated, "We are pleased
to announce that SQM has once again achieved record earnings, with net income
for the third quarter alone exceeding not only net income for the first six
months of this year but also net income for the full-year 2007. These results
are due in large part to higher prices for our potassium-based fertilizers.
In addition, during 2008 we observed positive developments in both the iodine
and lithium markets that allowed us not only to report higher results than we
initially projected for these two businesses, but also to improve our outlook
for both of these markets. In particular, we recently announced a 25% price
increase for iodine, reflecting changes in the equilibrium between supply,
which has become tighter than expected, and demand, which has grown faster
than expected."



    Mr. Contesse continued, "While current world economic conditions have
generated uncertainty about the coming months, we are confident in the
fundamentals underlying our key markets, where we expect to see growing
demand and tight supply conditions."



    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.


    
    For further information, contact:
    Patricio Vargas, +56-2-4252485 / [email protected]
    Carolyn McKenzie, +56-2-4252074 / [email protected]
    Carolina Rojas, +56-2-4252250 / [email protected]





    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.



Web site: http://www.sqm.com

                                                                                                                                                                            

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