February 27, 2008 / 2:26 AM / 10 years ago

Chile's SQM 2007 profit rises 27.4 percent

(Adds operating income, details)

SANTIAGO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Chile’s Soquimich (SQM), a top fertilizer exporter and the world’s largest producer of lithium and iodine, said on Tuesday net profit rose 27.4 percent last year compared with 2006.

The Santiago-based company SQM_pb.SN (SQM.N) said net profit increased to $180 million from $141.2 million the prior year, amid booming markets for its products.

Iodine is used in x-ray contrast media, biocides, and pharmaceuticals. Lithium is used in chemical industries and for the production of lithium batteries, among other uses.

SQM is controlled by Chile’s Julio Ponce and Norway’s Yara International ASA (YAR.OL), which hold the majority of voting shares, and Canada’s Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc (POT.TO).

SQM has commercial offices in 20 countries worldwide. (Reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Carol Bishopric )

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