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Israel Chemicals' Q2 profit slides 53% YOY on lower sales, fertilizer prices

Israel Chemicals Ltd. on Aug. 3 posted net income attributable to shareholders of US$57 million, or 4.48 U.S. cents per share, for the second quarter of 2017, dropping 52.5% on a yearly basis from US$120 million, or 9 cents per share, of net income recorded a year ago.

Sales for the company slid to US$1.32 billion in the period from US$1.38 billion in the prior-year quarter, mainly due to lower sales volumes and lower selling prices for phosphate fertilizers, as well as dairy proteins.

The decrease was partially offset by an increase in potash volumes sold, mainly to Asia and South America, and acids at ICL Advanced Additives.

The company also incurred US$41 million of income tax, higher compared to the US$5 million tax figure for the year-ago period.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was US$251 million, down from US$278 million a year ago, as operating income dipped to US$144 million from US$149 million.

Potash output dropped to 1.06 million tonnes, from 1.35 million tonnes a year ago, due to lower production at ICL UK as a result of an operational breakdown in the mine tailings channel. Potash sales rose to 1.01 million tonnes from 917,000 tonnes, with the increase coming from external customers in India and the U.S.

Potash output in the second quarter was 1.2 million tonnes, down from 1.4 million tonnes in the second quarter of 2016, due to a decrease in the production at Israel Chemicals UK as a result of the transition from extracting and producing potash to producing polysulphate.

Phosphate rock output slid to 1.3 million tonnes from 1.5 million tonnes as phosphate fertilizer production dipped to 479,000 tonnes from 586,000 tonnes, mainly due to decreased production at the YPH joint venture in China driven by a production optimization process.

Fertilizer sales volumes fell to 577,000 tonnes from 713,000 tonnes a year ago, mainly due to lower sales in Asia and South America.

Second-quarter CapEx dropped to US$109 million from US$196 million.

The company did not declare a dividend for the quarter, whereas it proposed a payout of US$60 million, or about 5 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2016.