Israel Chemicals profit falls, plans New York listing

Reuters

* Q3 adjusted net profit $196 mln vs $188.4 mln forecast

* Revenue $1.45 bln vs $1.46 bln forecast

* Produced 1.27 mln tonnes of potash in Q3, up 9 pct

By Tova Cohen

TEL AVIV, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Weakness in the potash marketled to a decline in third-quarter earnings at Israel Chemicals(ICL), which said it was preparing a dual listing ofits shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

ICL, the world's sixth-largest producer of the crop nutrientpotash, attributed lower sales and profits to "weakness andinstability in the potash market, which led to an appreciablereduction in amounts sold and to lower selling prices offertilisers".

The announcement by Russia's Uralkali in July thatit would quit one of the world's two largest potash cartelstriggered a decline in prices, which led to a delay in purchasesby customers in anticipation of more price reductions. Towardsthe end of the third quarter, there was some recovery in demandwhich continued in October, ICL said.

ICL's potash production increased by 9 percent in the thirdquarter to 1.27 million tonnes due to greater productionefficiency at the company's mine in England.

ICL, a subsidiary of holding company Israel Corp,said the listing of its shares in New York would aid its growthby improving access to international financial markets andproviding flexibility in financing mergers and acquisitions. Itdid not provide further details of its plans.

ICL reported adjusted net profit in the third quarter of$196 million, down from $395 million a year earlier. The 2013figure excludes one-time tax expenses of $118 million. Revenuefell to $1.45 billion from $1.76 billion.

ICL was forecast in a Reuters poll to earn $188.4 million onrevenue of $1.46 billion.

It was also hit by lower demand for phosphate fertilisers inIndia and increased competition that led to lower prices.

Phosphates unit Rotem is going through one of its mostdifficult crises of the past several years, ICL said. Rotem'scost competitiveness is well below the average of competitorsand available resources are only expected to last six to nineyears because the Israeli government has still not granted alicense to mine new reserves, it said.

The company said it began to implement a growth strategy,launched at the end of the second quarter, that includesmeasures to improve operational processes to save a few hundredsmillion dollars by 2016. It is also examining a number of growthinitiatives in the fields of agriculture, food and engineeredmaterials.

ICL said it would distribute a dividend of $54.5 millionafter paying a dividend of $221 million for the second quarter.

Canada's Potash Corp owns 14 percent of ICL.Attempts to increase its stake have been rebuffed by the Israeligovernment.

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