UPDATE 1-Israel Chem says 2014 was bottom year, 2015 to be better

Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:37am EST
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* Q4 adjusted net profit $108 mln vs $149.3 mln forecast

* Sales of $1.4 bln in line with estimates

* ICL lost some potash market share due to strike -CEO

* Shares down 4 pct in Tel Aviv (Releads with CEO comments, adds analyst's comments)

By Tova Cohen

TEL AVIV, Feb 11 (Reuters) - After a year of restructuring and cost reductions that hurt the company's bottom line, fertiliser and speciality chemical maker Israel Chemicals (ICL) expects improvement in 2015.

ICL reported on Wednesday a lower fourth quarter profit that missed estimates, weighed down by increased financial expenses, a higher tax rate and labour disruptions.

"2014 was a clean-up year," Chief Executive Stefan Borgas told a conference call, pointing to steps taken in the wake of a government plan to raise taxes on mining activities and cost-cutting measures.

ICL has faced several strikes as a result, with one underway at its bromine plants due to plans to lay off 140 workers .   Continued...