K+S Aktiengesellschaft

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Start of new financial year 2009: Balanced Portfolio Underpins the Strength of K+S

K+S Aktiengesellschaft / Start of new financial year 2009: Balanced Portfolio Underpins the Strength of K+S

@@start.t1@@--------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Corporate news transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer/originator is solely   responsible for the content of this announcement. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------@@end@@

shares/balance/stock market/finances/companies/Q1 2009

Kassel (euro adhoc) - Kassel, 13 May 2009

Start of new financial year 2009: Balanced Portfolio Underpins the Strength of K+S

. Very good salt result due to winter of above-average severity
      . As expected, fertilizer demand down significantly year on year
      . At EUR 1,075.7 million, revenues down 11% year on year
      . Operating earnings reach EUR 174 million ((23)%)
      . Adjusted earnings per share at EUR 0.74 (Q1/2008: EUR 0.99)
      . Outlook for financial year 2009 unchanged

"Our salt activities were able to  step  into  the  breach  for  the fertilizer business - this is unique  compared  to  our  competitors! Even  if  our  first quarter revenues and earnings were unable to reach the record levels of  a  year ago, thanks to our balanced portfolio of fertilizers and salt, we have  achieved a very satisfactory start to the current financial year," said Norbert   Steiner, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft.

In the first quarter the de-icing salt business was very good  both   in  Western Europe as well as on the North American east cost in view of  the  above-average severity and prolonged duration of the winter. On some markets, there were  even delivery bottlenecks,  which  the   K+S  Group  was  able  to  exploit  with  its customary, large-scale production flexibility.

By contrast, the fertilizer business was characterised by very  low   demand  for fertilizers on almost all markets in  the  first   quarter:  Although  prices  of agricultural products stabilised   again,  demand  on  the  part  of  agriculture remained muted, against the background of a prolonged period of cold weather  in the northern hemisphere too. In addition, there were sufficient  stocks   at  the trade sector level and the financial crisis restricted room for  manoeuvre  with regard to financing for the entire distribution chain.

First quarter revenues down about 11% year on year First quarter revenues were down EUR 137.3 million on the same  period  last year and totalled EUR 1,075.7 million. The revenue decline attributable to volume and structural factors could not be offset by positive price and  currency  effects.

@@start.t2@@Salt business segment revenues almost doubled, which cushioned  the  effects  of significant revenue declines in the fertilizer business.

About 60% of Group revenues were generated in Europe; with 34%, the  Potash  and Magnesium  Products  business  segment  accounted  for  the  largest  share    of revenues, followed by Nitrogen Fertilizers as well as Salt.

Operating earnings reach EUR 174.0 million ((23)%)@@end@@

EBIT I for the first quarter of 2009 reached EUR  174.0  million,   after  EUR 226.3 million a year ago. The five-fold increase in the earnings of the Salt  business segment could markedly reduce the effects  of  the  earnings  decreases  in  the Potash and Magnesium Products and Nitrogen Fertilizers business segments.

Adjusted earnings before and after taxes down year on year

Adjusted earnings before taxes for the first quarter  reached  EUR   165.6 million representing a decline of EUR 58.4 million or about 26% on the  same  period last year.

Adjusted Group earnings after taxes for the first quarter were EUR 122.5 million, down just under 25% on the level of a year ago (Q1/2008: EUR 162.6 million).

For the quarter under review, adjusted earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.74 and were thus down EUR 0.25 on the figure for the same period last year  (EUR 0.99).

Outlook for financial year 2009 unchanged Prices of agricultural products, which fell sharply from the middle of  2008  in the wake of the financial crisis, have stabilised again in the first quarter  of 2009 on a level that meanwhile is markedly above the price  levels   for  a  good number of years, but still  does  not  reflect  the   fundamental  conditions  on agricultural markets. Against this background, the muted demand for  fertilizers can be expected to have a clear impact  on  the  volume  sold  by  international fertilizer producers until the middle  of  the  year.  In  the  second  quarter, however, the stocks of fertilizers still available in the  trade   sector  should be reduced to such an extent that a  normalisation  of demand  for  fertilizers should be able to be assumed for the second half of the year.

In the salt business, the upcoming early purchase business should   benefit  from the severe 2008/2009 winter. In the fourth quarter the salt  business  will  be influenced, to a significant degree, by winter weather conditions, too. In  this respect, K+S assumes that sales will be on their average level  for  many  years in the case of both the European and North American markets.

On the basis of the price level for potash and  magnesium  products   evident  in the first quarter, K+S assumes a tangibly higher average price  level  for  2009 as a whole compared with the previous year. However, K+S  expects  significantly lower sales, which will almost offset the  aforementioned  price  effect.  While the revenues of   the  Nitrogen  Fertilizers  business  segment  should  be  down significantly, mainly in  view  of  substantial  price  decreases,   K+S  expects significantly higher revenues for the Salt business sector because of  the  good start for the de-icing salt business in the new year.

Overall, revenues of the K+S Group in  2009  should  be  down   markedly  on  the previous year. The revenue forecast assumes an average US dollar  exchange  rate for 2009 of about 1.30 USD/EUR (2008: 1.47 USD/EUR).

In 2009, the costs of the K+S Group should decrease only slightly in comparison to the previous year: As far as personnel expenses are   concerned,  the  Company expects that the additional  costs  arising from  the  most  recent  collective agreement pay rise and a  slight increase  in  the  number  of  personnel  will moderately exceed the savings resulting from short-time  working.  Energy  costs should, by contrast, be on a lower level than a year ago as a  result  of  price and volume factors. K+S also sees an easing of material and freight costs  while depreciation/amortisation charges should increase by a rate in  the  mid-single- digit percentage range.

For the financial year 2009, K+S therefore estimates significantly lower EBIT  I operating earnings in comparison to the peak   experienced  last  year.  This  is primarily due to the already described decreasing sales  volume  in  the  Potash and Magnesium Products business segment. Even  a  stronger  US  dollar  exchange rate and higher earnings from salt against last year are  not   inclining  us  to change this forecast.

Also adjusted Group earnings after taxes should be significantly lower  in  2009 in line with the development of operating earnings.

Experience growth The K+S Group is  one  of  the  world's  leading   suppliers  of  speciality  and standard fertilizers, plant care as well as salt  products.  With  its  products and brands, K+S offers its customers a range of needs-based goods  and  services which provides growth opportunities in virtually every  sphere  of  daily   life. The K+S Group employs more than 12,000 people  and  achieved   revenues  of  just under EUR 5.0 billion in 2008. K+S is quoted on all German stock exchanges (ISIN: DE0007162000, symbol: SDF) and listed on the DAX® share index.

Note to editors: You can download this press release as well as the Q1/09 quarterly  report  from

@@start.t3@@our website www.k-plus-s.com. In addition, you can follow the  speech  given  by Norbert  Steiner,  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Executive  Directors    of    K+S Aktiengesellschaft, at today's Annual General Meeting  in  Kassel  live  on  the website from 10 a.m.; the presentation documents will also be available  on  the website.

Conference Call with analysts On the occasion of the publication of the  figures  for  the  first  quarter  of@@end@@

2009, on 14 May 2009, Norbert  Steiner,  chairman  of  the  Board  of Executive Directors, as  well  as  Joachim  Felker,  member  of  the Board  of  Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft, will answer questions from analysts  during a conference call. From 3 p.m., you can follow this conference call live on  the Internet at www.k-plus-s.com or by telephone by dialling +49.40. 37707.9033.

Your contact persons:

Press: Oliver Morgenthal Phone: +49 561 9301-1047

Fax: +49 561 9301-2160 oliver.morgenthal@k-plus-s.com

Investor Relations: Christian Herrmann Phone: +49 561 9301-1460 Fax: +49 561 9301-2425 christian.herrmann@k-plus-s.com

Forward-looking statements This press release contains facts  and   forecasts  that  relate  to  the  future development of the K+S Group and its  companies.  The  forecasts  are  estimates that we have made on the basis of all the information available to  us  at  this moment in time. Should the assumptions underlying these forecasts prove  not to be correct, actual events may deviate from those expected at the present time.

@@start.t4@@|K+S Group at a Glance                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|1st Quarter 2009                         | |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |Q1              | |Q1          | |            |
|All figures in accordance with  | |Jan - Mar  | |Jan - Mar| |            |
|IFRSs                                          | |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |2009          | |2008        | |Change  |
| |                                                 | |EUR million  | |EUR million| |in %      |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Revenues                                      | |1,075.7      | |1,213.0  | |(11.3)  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products  | |366.0         | |522.5      | |(30.0)  |
| |Nitrogen Fertilizers                 | |342.1         | |488.4      | |(30.0)  |
| |Salt                                          | |338.3         | |170.3      | |+98.6    |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |29.1          | |31.7        | |(8.2)    |
| |Reconciliation                          | |0.2            | |0.1         | |+100.0  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Operating earnings (EBIT I)        | |174.0         | |226.3      | |(23.1)  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products  | |97.0          | |170.9      | |(43.2)  |
| |Nitrogen Fertilizers                 | |8.1            | |42.6        | |(81.0)  |
| |Salt                                          | |80.2          | |14.7        | |+445.6  |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |2.0            | |7.1         | |(71.8)  |
| |Reconciliation                          | |(13.3)        | |(9.0)      | |(47.8)  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings after hedging transactions    |152.9  | |118.6      | |+28.9    |
|and derivatives no longer in operation|          | |              | |            |
|(EBIT II)                                              |          | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes        | |144.5         | |116.3      | |+24.2    |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes,          | |165.6  | |224.0      | |(26.1)  |
|adjusted1)                                         | |          | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes          | |107.3         | |84.8        | |+26.5    |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes, adjusted1)| |122.5| |162.6      | |(24.7)  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings per share, adjusted         |0.74          | |0.99        | |(25.3)  |
|(EUR)1), 2)                                        |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                    | |              | |              | |            |
|Capital expenditure3)                    | |29.1        | |24.2        | |+20.2    |
|                                                      | |              | |              | |            |
|Employees as of 31. March (number)| |12,334    | |12,141    | |+1.6      |
|  of which trainees (number)         | |516         | |509         | |+1.4      |
|                                                                                                                |
|1) the adjusted figures only contain the result from hedging already  |
|realised during the current                                                                    |
|period. By contrast, changes in the market value of derivatives still |
|outstanding are not taken into account. The effects on deferred and    |
|cash taxes are also eliminated. Q1/2009 tax rate: 27.9% (Q1/2008:        |
|27.7%).                                                                                                    |
|2) adjusted to the share split in the ratio 1:4 (entered in Commercial|
|Register: 24 June 2008; technical execution: 21 July 2008)                  |
|3) for or in connection with intangible assets as well as property,    |
|plant and equipment                                                                                 |@@end@@

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ots Originaltext: K+S Aktiengesellschaft
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Press:        
Oliver Morgenthal        
Phone: +49 561 9301-1047        
Fax: +49 561 9301-2160    
oliver.morgenthal@k-plus-s.com      

Investor Relations:
Christian Herrmann
Phone: +49 561 9301-1460
Fax: +49 561 9301-2425
christian.herrmann@k-plus-s.com

K+S Aktiengesellschaft
Communications
P.O. Box 10 20 29, 34111 Kassel, Germany
Bertha-von-Suttner-Str. 7, 34131 Kassel
www.k-plus-s.com
__________________________________________________________

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Dr. Ralf Bethke
Board of Executive Directors: Norbert Steiner (Chairman), Joachim Felker, Gerd
Grimmig, Dr. Thomas Nöcker
Registered Office: Kassel
Commercial Register: Kassel HRB 2669

Branche: Chemicals
ISIN:      DE0007162000
WKN:        716200
Index:    DAX, Midcap Market Index, CDAX, Classic All Share, HDAX,
              Prime All Share
Börsen:  Frankfurt / regulated dealing/prime standard
              Berlin / regulated dealing
              Hamburg / regulated dealing
              Stuttgart / regulated dealing
              Düsseldorf / regulated dealing
              Hannover / regulated dealing
              München / regulated dealing



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