UPDATE 1-Israel Chemicals suffers Q3 profit slip, to transform UK plant

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:11am EST
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* Q3 adjusted EPS $0.12 vs $0.13 forecast, revenue down 11.6 pct

* Shifting UK plant to production of potash to polysulphate

* ICL to invest at least 40 mln pounds in UK facility (Adds details, CEO/analyst comments, share reaction)

By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Israel Chemicals (ICL) reported a larger than expected decline in quarterly profit, weighed down by lower potash prices and sales, and said it would halt production of potash from its UK plant within 3 years.

ICL, which has exclusive permits to extract minerals from the Dead Sea, said on Thursday it earned 12 cents per diluted share excluding one-time items, compared with 14 cents a year earlier. Revenue dipped 11.6 percent to $1.38 billion.

The company, one of the three largest suppliers of the crop nutrient potash to China, India and Europe, was expected earn 13 cents a share on revenue of $1.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Chief Executive Stefan Borgas said that in the third quarter ICL largely compensated for the negative impact of lower potash prices and volumes through significant cost cuts.

"The results are littered with exceptionals," said Liberum analyst Sophie Jourdier in a note to clients. But, she added, "We believe the worst is most likely behind ICL. Strike action has ended, tax clarity is improving and cost savings are being implemented."   Continued...