TEL AVIV, May 7 (Reuters) – Israel Chemicals (ICL) on Tuesday reported a bigger than expected rise in first-quarter net profit, boosted by higher prices for its products, increased sales volume for bromine and cost reductions.

ICL posted adjusted earnings per share of 12 cents, up from 8 cents a year earlier. Sales edged up to $1.42 billion from $1.4 billion though excluding divested businesses sales increased 4 percent.

Analysts on average forecast EPS of 10 cents on sales of $1.5 billion, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

“Our performance is even more meaningful in light of the slow start to the agricultural year in the U.S., Brazil and Israel, which negatively impacted fertiliser sales and put pressure on the commodity phosphate market,” CEO Raviv