Albemarle Corp says its sales led by lithium nearly tripled in the fourth quarter of 2022, despite a 300% jump in lithium prices, Kallanish reports.

The full-year 2022 net sales of $7 billion more than doubled its 2021 sales, the North Carolina-based company says in its earnings report.

The company, the largest provider of lithium to the electric vehicle industry, had Q4 net sales of $2.62 billion, up from $894.20m in Q4 2021, an increase of 193%. That produced a net profit of $1.13 billion or $9.60/share. That compares to a loss of $3.82 million or 3 cents/share in Q4 2021. For whole-year 2022, sales totalled $7.32 billion, up from $3.32 billion in 2021. For whole-year 2022, the net profit was $2.68 billion or $22.84/share, up from $123.6m or $1.06/share in 2021

"Albemarle's full-year 2022 net sales of over $7 billion is more than double our results from 2021, and the adjusted EBITDA of approximately $3.5 billion is nearly four times that of the prior year. Our outstanding 2022 results demonstrate our durable advantages, particularly in the growing lithium market, and the relentless focus of our global teams in supporting our customers to enable better mobility, energy, connectivity, and health," says ceo Kent Masters in a statement. "Our growth potential extends well beyond the current EV opportunity.”

The speciality chemical company says it expects lithium sales to increase by at least 30% in 2023, and it projects 2023 net sales in the range of $11.3 billion to $12.9 billion. Sales could hit $17.6 billion to $19.3 billion by 2027.

Last month, Albemarle had said it expects to raise lithium prices charged to automakers to increase again in 2023 with the proceeds going to develop new lithium mines. It expects to spend nearly $1.9 billion in 2023 capex.