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Tuesday 28 April, 2009

SQM

SQM Reports Earnings for the First Quarter of 2009





SANTIAGO, Chile, April 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 quarter of 2009
of US$86.3 million (US$0.33 per ADR), an increase of 33% with respect to the
same period of 2008, when earnings totaled US$64.8 million (US$0.25 per ADR).
Operating income reached US$119.5 million (37% of revenues), 39% higher than
the US$86.2 million (26% of revenues) recorded during the first quarter of
2008. Revenues totaled US$320.9 million for the first quarter, representing a
decrease of 2% over the US$326.3 million reported in the same period of 2008.



    SQM's Chief Executive Officer, Patricio Contesse, stated, "Considering
the current global economy and the difficult circumstances of world markets
in general, the increase in our quarterly operating income and net income is
very good news. The Company's different business lines prevent us from
depending on a single product or market and provide us with diversified
sources of revenue that allow us to deliver higher operating margins." He
continued, "Higher sales prices during the first quarter of the year compared
to the same period of the previous year combined with lower operating costs
have allowed us to offset the lower sales volumes in our SPN, iodine and
lithium businesses, which have in general followed the downward trend
observed in different sectors of the economy during recent times. As
anticipated, higher production levels of potassium chloride have translated
into significantly higher sales volumes and have positively impacted our
margins."



    Mr. Contesse concluded, "We remain confident that the fertilizer and
industrial markets that use our products should recover by the second
semester, increasing results in the second half of the year compared to the
first half of this year."



    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, +56-2-4252274 / [email protected]
    Mary Laverty, +56-2-4252074 / [email protected]
    Carolina Rojas, +56-2-4252250 / [email protected]

    For media inquiries, contact:
    Fernanda Guerra, +56-2-4252027 / [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.



                                                           

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