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Tuesday 29 April, 2008

SQM

SQM Reports Earnings for the First Quarter of 2008





SANTIAGO, Chile, April 29 /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 quarter of 2008
of US$64.8 million (US$0.25 per ADR), a 50.8% increase over the US$43.0
million (US$0.16 per ADR) reported for the same period of 2007. Operating
income for the quarter grew 46.6% to US$86.2 million (26.4% of revenues), as
compared to the first quarter 2007 figure of US$58.8 million (24.8% of
revenues). Revenues for the period totaled US$326.3 million, representing
growth of 37.6% over the US$237.1 million reported in 2007.


    "The significant growth in revenues and net income that we have reported
for the first quarter has been driven by the favorable pricing scenario in
world fertilizer markets," stated Patricio Contesse, the Company's Chief
Executive Officer. He continued, "If the pricing trend observed so far this
year continues through the end of 2008, we are going to see our Specialty
Plant Nutrition and potash businesses substantially increase their
contribution to gross margin."


    Mr. Contesse went on to say, "The positive pricing environment in the
fertilizer businesses has more than offset the pressures we face on the cost
side. Energy and raw materials prices, as well as the appreciation of the
Chilean peso with respect to the U.S. dollar, are the factors that have had
the largest impact on our operating costs."


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


    
    For further information, contact:
    Patricio Vargas, +56-2-4252274 / [email protected]
    Carolyn McKenzie, +56-2-4252074 / [email protected]


    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.



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

                                                                                                   

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