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K+S looks confidently ahead to 2010 Fertilizer demand picks up tangibly after falling steeply in 2009

K+S looks confidently ahead to 2010 Fertilizer demand picks up tangibly after falling steeply in 2009

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

Annual Reports/quarterly report/Company Information/K+S

Subtitle: K+S looks confidently ahead to 2010 Fertilizer demand picks up tangibly after falling steeply in 2009

Kassel (euro adhoc) - Kassel, March 11, 2010

K+S looks confidently ahead to 2010 Fertilizer demand picks up tangibly after falling steeply in 2009

• Q4/2009:

@@start.t2@@- At EUR 1.1 billion, revenues rise due to consolidation factors
         - Continued muted demand for fertilizers
         - Operating earnings down due to extraordinary effects
         - Adjusted Group earnings reach EUR 17.5 million or
            EUR 0.10/share (Q4/2008: EUR 227.5 million or EUR 1.38/share)

• Financial year 2009:
         - At just under EUR 3.6 billion, revenues significantly down on previous
            year ((26)%)
         - Despite difficult market conditions, operating earnings reach EUR 238
            million and adjusted Group earnings reach EUR 94 million
         - Adjusted earnings per share at EUR 0.56 (2008: EUR 5.94/share)
         - Dividend proposal for 2009: EUR 0.20;
            payout ratio of 41% of adjusted Group earnings

• Outlook 2010:
         - Fertilizer business rises tangibly;
            good start in de-icing salt business
         - Significant rise in revenues and earnings expected in 2010@@end@@

Following a difficult 2009, marked by the effects of the  global   financial  and economic crisis, the K+S Group looks  confidently   ahead  to  2010.  "There  are growing signs that fertilizer demand is normalising and  in  the  current  year, our salt business will once again profit from an overall  good  demand  for  de- icing salt and from the first-time inclusion  of  Morton  Salt  for  the  entire year," says Norbert Steiner, Chairman of the Board  of  Executive   Directors  of K+S Aktiengesellschaft.

For  the  2009  financial  year,  uncertainty  in  global   agricultural  markets resulted in a significantly lower demand for fertilizers. K+S responded to  this development with a wide range of measures:

@@start.t3@@- Sharp reductions in fertilizer output and the use of short-time working
            to scale back the cost base in the wake of the collapse in demand
         - Postponement of capital expenditure project until a future time
         - Expansion and securing of the underground infrastructure
         - Strengthening  of  the  financial  structure  through  the  first-time
            issuance of a bond and a capital increase@@end@@

The Salt Business, however, developed positively due  to  high   demand  for  de- icing salt as well as the first-time inclusion of Morton Salt.

At just under EUR 3.6 billion, 2009 revenues down significantly For financial year 2009, K+S achieved revenues of EUR 3,573.8 million,   which was about 26%  below  previous  year´s  figure.  The  decline   in  revenues  can  be particularly attributed to volume and price effects in  the  Fertilizer Sector. Whereas in the Salt Business Segment high sales volumes of de-icing salt  during the first and the fourth quarter as well as the first-time inclusion  of  Morton Salt in the last three months of the year had a positive impact.

With a share of just under 40%,  the  Potash  and  Magnesium   Products  Business Segment was once again the K+S  Group  segment   posting  the  highest  revenues, followed by the Nitrogen Fertilizers and  Salt  Business  Segments,  which  each held a share of about 28% Also as a result of the  Morton  Salt  acquisition  in the United States at just under 47%, K+S attained a significantly  higher  share of revenues on overseas markets against 2009. Europe accounted roughly  for  53% of total revenues.

Despite adverse environment, operating earnings reach EUR 238 million At EUR 238 million, operating earnings EBIT I were down about 82% on last year´s peak figure  (2008:  EUR  1,342.7  million).  The   extreme  drop  in demand,  the resulting lower capacity utilisation   as  well  as  the  decline in  fertilizer prices during the course of the year resulted in sharp declines in  earnings  in the Fertilizer Sector compared with the record figures for  the  previous  year. While the Potash and Magnesium Products Business Segment, despite   the  collapse in  demand,  posted  positive  earnings  of  EUR  231.7 million,    the    Nitrogen Fertilizers Business Segment posted an operating loss of EUR 108.1 million due  to not only volume and price effects but also  high raw  material  costs  for  the production  of complex  fertilizers  as  well as    the    adverse    impact    of extraordinary effects. At EUR  140.4  million, operating  earnings   in  the  Salt Business Segment, however,  were significantly  above   previous  year´s  figure particularly because of the persistent wintry weather conditions  in  the  first quarter and in the last weeks of the year.

The effect from the first-time inclusion of Morton Salt was  EUR  9.8 million in the fourth quarter. In addition  to  integration  costs,   extraordinary effects from the revaluation and consolidation within the  framework  of  the inventory valuation according to  IFRSs   reduced  this  earnings  contribution. Moreover, write-downs on the   value  adjustments  to  be  made  within  the framework  of purchase price allocation weighed on earnings. The actual operating earnings   of Morton Salt amounted to EUR 52.0 million.

Adjusted earnings down significantly year on year but in the black Adjusted earnings before taxes for the past financial year amounted   to EUR 122.6 million (2008: EUR 1,349.5  million)  and  adjusted   Group  earnings after  taxes reached EUR  93.6  million,  compared   with  EUR  979.3  million for  the  previous financial year (details of the adjustment procedure  can  be in  found  in  the Financial Report 2009, pages 98-99).

Q4/2009: Revenues and earnings up on the previous quarter At just under EUR 1.1 billion, revenues for the fourth quarter  of  2009   were up about 52% on the third quarter of 2009 (EUR 698.1 million) and  up  about 11%  on previous year´s figure (EUR 955.5 million), which was mainly favoured due  to  the first-time consolidation of Morton Salt. Operating earnings EBIT I amounted  to EUR 36.5 million and could be increased compared with the third quarter  of  2009 (EUR 9.4 million), but were down significantly on the figure of  EUR 287.8 million for the same period a year ago. At  EUR  17.5  million, adjusted  Group  earnings after taxes were positive again in the fourth quarter of 2009 (Q3/2009: EUR  (2.1) million), but were also down significantly on the figure for the same  period  a year ago (Q4/2008: EUR 227.5 million).

Dividend of EUR 0.20 per share proposed As a result of the marked decrease in the adjusted earnings of the K+S Group  in financial year 2009 and in line with our  earnings-based  dividend  policy,  the Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board proposes the   payment  of a dividend of EUR 0.20 per share to the Annual General Meeting (2008: EUR  2.40 per share). Assuming that no own shares are held on the date of the  Annual General Meeting,  this  will  result in  a  dividend  payout  of EUR 38.3 million;  this corresponds to a payout ratio of 41% within the payout corridor of  40%  to  50% of the adjusted K+S Group earnings that we are in principle seeking to achieve.

Outlook 2010: Significant rise in revenues and earnings anticipated Fertilizer demand should rise again  significantly  in  2010  -   especially  for potash fertilizers - because of low straight   fertilizer  stocks  in  the  trade sector and due to the lower potash content of the soil following two  very  good harvests and lower fertilisation since autumn of 2008. Thus,  the  global  sales volume for potash should rise to about 45 million tonnes in  2010  (2009:   about 30 million tonnes) and, at an estimated sales volume of about 55 million  tonnes in 2011, almost reach the level from before the financial and  economic  crisis. As  the  world´s  fourth-largest   individual  producer,  the  K+S  Group  should participate in this to a tangible extent. Thus, the sales volume in  the  Potash and Magnesium Products business segment this year should rise to  just   under  6 million  tonnes  of  goods  (2009:  4.3  million  tonnes),   but    at    expected significantly lower average prices against previous year.

In financial year 2010, revenues of the K+S Group should rise considerably  year on year. While a moderate increase in revenues is assumed  in  the  Potash  and Magnesium  Products  business  segment and  a  tangible  one  in  the  Nitrogen Fertilizers business segment,  a  significantly  higher  level  of  revenues  is expected in the Salt Segment, because of  the  first-time  inclusion  of   Morton Salt for a whole year.

In  financial  year  2010,  operating    earnings    EBIT I    should     also    rise significantly year on year. This above all relates to the first-time  inclusion of Morton Salt for  the  entire  year  as  well as  to  the  indications  of  a turnaround in earnings in the Nitrogen Fertilizers Business Segment.

The adjusted Group earnings  after  taxes  should  also  thus  be   significantly higher in 2010 in line with the development of operating earnings.

Experience growth The K+S  Group  is  one  of  the  world's  leading suppliers  of  standard  and speciality fertilizers. In the salt business, measured by  production  capacity, K+S, with sites in Europe as well as North and South  America,  is  the  world´s leading producer. K+S offers a comprehensive range of  goods  and  services   for agriculture, industry and private consumers which provides growth opportunities in virtually every sphere of daily life. The K+S Group employs more than  15,000 people. The K+S share - the only commodities stock on the German DAX index -  is listed on all German stock exchanges (ISIN:  DE0007162000,  symbol:  SDF).  More information about K+S is available at www.k-plus-s.com.

Note to editors You can download the Financial Report 2009,  the   Corporate  and  Sustainability

@@start.t4@@Report 2009 as well as the Quarterly Financial Report Q4/2009 from  our  website
www.k-plus-s.com. In addition, from 10.00 a.m., the speeches  given  by  Norbert
Steiner,    Chairman    of    the    Board    of    Executive    Directors      of      K+S@@end@@

Aktiengesellschaft, and Jan Peter Nonnenkamp, CFO of K+S Aktiengesellschaft,  at today´s K+S financial report press conference as well as a video message on  the course of business will also be available on the website.

Conference call for analysts You can also follow today´s conference call for analysts, which  is  being  held in connection with the publication of the annual financial statements  and  will be conducted  in  English,  live  from  1.00  p.m.  at  www.k-plus-s.com or  by telephone by dialling +49.69.6677.75757; PIN 3524527#.

Your contact persons:

Press:

Michael Wudonig
Phone:  +49 561 9301-1262
Fax:      +49 561 9301-1666
michael.wudonig@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 or risks arise - examples of which are mentioned in the  risk  report - actual developments and events may deviate from current expectations. Outside statutory disclosure provisions the company does  not  take   any  obligation  to update the statements contained in this press release.

@@start.t5@@|K+S Group at a Glance                  | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Q4/2009                                         | |                 |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |Q4              |      |Q4          | |            |
|All figures in accordance with    | |Oct - Dec  |      |Oct - Dec| |            |
|IFRSs                                            | |                 |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |2009          |      |2008        | |Change  |
| |                                                 | |EUR million  |      |EUR million| |in %      |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Revenues                                        | |1,061.3      |      |955.5      | |+11.1    |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products  | |360.6         |      |498.7      | |(27.7)  |
| |Nitrogen Fertilizers                 | |212.2         |      |214.6      | |(1.1)    |
| |Salt                                          | |455.3         |      |209.3      | |+117.5  |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |33.1          |      |32.8        | |+0.9      |
| |Reconciliation                      |    |0.1            |      |0.1         | |-          |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|Operating earnings (EBIT I)    |    |36.5          |      |287.8      | |(87.3)  |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium            |    |26.9          |      |275.3      | |(90.2)  |
| |Products                                |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Nitrogen Fertilizers            |    |(42.3)        |      |(5.2)      | |(713.5) |
| |Salt                                      |    |47.3          |      |26.2        | |+80.5    |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |5.7            |      |5.8         | |(1.7)    |
| |Reconciliation                      |    |(1.1)         |      |(14.3)    | |-          |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings after operating hedges (EBIT |33.9    |      |286.0      | |(88.1)  |
|II)                                                        |          |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Financial result                          | |(18.7)        |      |29.1        | |-          |
|                                                    | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes        | |15.2          |      |315.1      | |(95.2)  |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes,         | |17.8    |      |316.9      | |(94.4)  |
|adjusted1)                                        | |          |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes          | |15.6          |      |226.4      | |(93.1)  |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes, adjusted1)| |17.5 |      |227.5      | |(92.3)  |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings per share, adjusted (EUR)1)|0.10          |      |1.38        | |(92.5)  |
| |                                                    | |              |      |              | |            |
|Capital expenditure2)                    | |63.5        |      |64.4        | |(1.4)    |
|                                                      | |              |      |              | |            |
|1) The adjusted figures only contain the result from operating,                |
|anticipatory hedging transactions already realised during the current      |
|period.                                                                                                         |
|By contrast, changes in the market value of the operating anticipatory    |
|hedging transactions still outstanding are not taken into account. The    |
|effects on deferred and cash taxes are also eliminated; tax rate 2009      |
|27.9% (2008: 27.9%).                                                                                    |
|2) Cash investments in or depreciation of property, plant and equipment  |
|and intangible assets.                                                                                 |
|                                                                                                                    |
|                                                                                                                    |
|                                                                                                                    |
|                                                                                                                    |
|K+S Group at a Glance              |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|January to December 2009            | |                 |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|All figures in accordance with    | |Jan - Dec  |      |Jan - Dec| |            |
|IFRSs                                            | |                 |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |2009          |      |2008        | |Change  |
| |                                                 | |EUR million  |      |EUR million| |in %      |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Revenues                                        | |3,573.8      |      |4,794.4  | |(25.5)  |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products  | |1,421.7      |      |2.397.4  | |(40.7)  |
| |Nitrogen Fertilizers                 | |1,016.2      |      |1.652.4  | |(38.5)  |
| |Salt                                          | |1,014.6      |      |618.6      | |+64.0    |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |120.7         |      |125.3      | |(3.7)    |
| |Reconciliation                        |    |0.6            |      |0.7         | |-          |
| |                                              |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|Operating earnings (EBIT I)    |    |238.0         |      |1,342.7  | |(82.3)  |
| |                                              |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products|    |231.7         |      |1.203.2  | |(80.7)  |
| |Nitrogen Fertilizers              |    |(108.1)      |      |121.4      | |-          |
| |Salt                                        |    |140.4         |      |45.2        | |+210.6  |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |15.2          |      |25.1        | |(39.4)  |
| |Reconciliation                        |    |(41.2)        |      |(52.2)    | |-          |
| |                                              |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings after operating hedges (EBIT |241.9  |      |1,192.3  | |(79.7)  |
|II)                                                        |          |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Financial result                          | |(115.4)      |      |6.8         | |-          |
|                                                    | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes        | |126.5         |      |1,199.1  | |(89.5)  |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes,          |  |122.6|      |1,349.5  | |(90.9)  |
|adjusted1)                                         |  |        |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes          | |96.4          |      |870.9      | |(88.9)  |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes, adjusted1)| |93.6 |      |979.3      | |(90.4)  |
| |                                                 | |                |      |              | |            |
|Earnings per share, adjusted (EUR)1) |0.56         |      |5.94        | |(90.5)  |
| |                                                      | |            |      |              | |            |
|Capital expenditure2)                      | |177.6    |      |197.5      | |(10.1)  |
|                                                        | |            |      |              | |            |
|Employees as of 31 December            | |15,208  |      |12,368    | |+23.0    |
|(number)                                          | |            |      |              | |            |
| |of which trainees (number)            | |642        |      |615         | |+4,4      |
|                                                                                                                    |
|                                                                                                                    |
|1) The adjusted figures only contain the result from operating,                |
|anticipatory hedging transactions already realised during the current      |
|period.                                                                                                         |
|By contrast, changes in the market value of the operating anticipatory    |
|hedging transactions still outstanding are not taken into account. The    |
|effects on deferred and cash taxes are also eliminated; tax rate 2009      |
|27.9% (2008: 27.9%).                                                                                    |
|2) Cash investments in or depreciation of property, plant and equipment  |
|and intangible assets.                                                                                 |@@end@@

@@start.t6@@end of announcement                                                 euro adhoc
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------@@end@@

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

Further inquiry note:
Press:  
Michael Wudonig                              
Phone:  +49 561 9301-1262                
Fax:      +49 561 9301-1666                
michael.wudonig@k-plus-s.com                

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

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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