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JERUSALEM, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Israel Chemicals (ICL) reported higher quarterly profit that beat estimates on Tuesday, boosted by higher potash sales, cost cutting measures and lower financing expenses.
ICL, which has exclusive permits to extract minerals from the Dead Sea, earned 14 cents per diluted share excluding one-time items in the fourth quarter, up from 9 cents a year earlier.
Quarterly sales were up 1.7 percent to $1.43 billion.
ICL, one of the three largest suppliers of the crop nutrient potash to China, India and Europe, was forecast to record adjusted EPS of 11 cents on sales of $1.41 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Efficiency initiatives, which we expect to continue beyond 2016, reduced our production costs and led to record potash production at ICL Dead Sea and drove incremental profitability despite a difficult operating environment," said Stefan Borgas, ICL's chief executive.
"In 2016, we will continue to create greater balance between our commodity and specialty businesses in order to optimally position ICL for further growth and profitability." (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Steven Scheer)