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TEL AVIV, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Israel Chemicals (ICL) reported on Thursday an increase in third-quarter net profit, boosted by higher prices for potash and phosphate fertilisers and rising sales of bromine products.
The world's sixth-largest producer of potash earned an adjusted net profit of $134 million, compared with $115 million a year earlier. Sales fell to $1.37 billion from $1.44 billion. Excluding the divestment of certain businesses, sales rose 7 percent.
ICL said higher commodity and specialty prices more than compensated for the negative impact of lower sales volumes and higher raw materials, energy and transportation costs.
"Our overall strong business momentum continued despite a temporary decrease in potash sales volumes due to delays, this year, in signing supply contracts with Chinese and Indian customers," CEO Raviv Zoller said.
Potash sales in the quarter rose to $344 million from $327 million a year earlier. The average selling price per tonne rose to $287 from $235.
The quantity of potash sold in the quarter was 1.2 million tonnes. That was 194,000 tonnes lower than a year earlier due to a decrease in potash sales to Asia, as a result of the delay in signing contracts with China and India and lower sales to South America.
The company, which has exclusive rights in Israel to extract minerals from the Dead Sea and whose shares have jumped 42 percent so far in 2018, declared a quarterly dividend of 5.1 cents a share, up 20 percent from a year earlier. (Reporting by Tova Cohen Additional reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Edmund Blair)