K+S Aktiengesellschaft

EANS-News: K+S AG
Very successful start to financial year 2010 Significant recovery in demand for fertilizers and strong salt business cause first quarter earnings to rise substantially

K+S AG / Very successful start to financial year 2010 Significant recovery in demand for fertilizers and strong salt business cause first quarter earnings to rise substantially

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

quarterly report/Company Information/K+S AG

Subtitle: K+S AG / Very successful start to financial year 2010 Significant recovery in demand for fertilizers and strong salt business cause first quarter earnings to rise substantially

Kassel (euro adhoc) - Kassel, 11 May 2010

Very successful start to financial year 2010 Significant recovery in demand for fertilizers and strong salt business cause first quarter earnings to rise substantially

• Significant rebound in demand in fertilizer business  • Salt
Business Segment profits from Morton Salt inclusion and good overall
demand for de-icing salt  • Quarterly revenues rose by 43% to EUR 1.5
billion  • At EUR 268 million, operating earnings improved
considerably  (+54%)  • Adjusted earnings per share at EUR 0.92
(Q1/09: EUR 0.74)  • Sales forecast in Potash and Magnesium Products
Business Segment raised to a      good 6.5 million tonnes of product
(previously: just under 6 million tonnes;      2009: 4.3 million
tonnes)  • Significant increase in revenues and earnings for 2010
expected  • Significant reduction of indebtedness expected

The K+S Group enjoyed a very successful start to the  new  financial year:  The significant recovery in demand for fertilizers, a  good   overall  de-icing  salt business, and the inclusion of Morton Salt caused both revenues and earnings  to rise significantly in the first quarter of 2010.

"In the first few months of the new year,  higher  demand  for   fertilizers  has largely been due to a backlog demand at the trade level. Meanwhile,  it  can  be observed that the European agricultural  sector  has  called  up  a  significant amount of the quantities demanded by trade," said Norbert Steiner,  Chairman  of the Board of  Executive  Directors  of  K+S  Aktiengesellschaft.   "Against  this backdrop, we have raised the sales volume forecast for the Potash and  Magnesium Products Business Segment. Together with the good de-icing salt business in  the first quarter and the inclusion of Morton Salt for the whole year, revenues  and earnings of the K+S Group should once again  increase  significantly  in   2010," continued Steiner.

First quarter revenues up substantially At EUR 1,533.6 million, K+S Group revenues for the quarter were about 43% up year-on-year. The   increase  in  the  Potash  and  Magnesium  Products  and Nitrogen Fertilizers Business Segments can mainly be attributed to significantly  higher sales volumes. Thanks to the consolidation of Morton Salt and the  good  overall de-icing salt business, the Salt Business Segment managed  to  far  exceed  the revenues of the same period in the previous year.

With a share of 40% in total revenues, the  Salt  Business  Segment   posted  the highest revenues of all the K+S  Group´s  Business   Segments,  followed  by  the Potash  and  Magnesium  Products   Business  Segment  (32%)  and    the    Nitrogen Fertilizers Business Segment (25%). About 55% of total  revenues  was  generated in Europe (previous year: 60%) and 45% overseas (previous year: 40%).

Operating earnings rise by 54% to just under EUR 268 million At  EUR 267.7  million,  first  quarter  operating    earnings    (EBIT    I) were significantly up on the figure for the same quarter  in  the   previous year  (EUR 174.0 million). The Potash  and  Magnesium   Products  and  Nitrogen Fertilizers Business Segments were able to considerably improve  their  earnings  due  to  a higher demand in fertilizers.

Primarily due to the consolidation of Morton Salt,  the  Salt   Business  Segment achieved significant earnings growth. In the first quarter, the effects  of  the inclusion on EBIT I amounted to EUR 32.4  million.  Moreover,  related  to Morton Salt, one-time  effects from  the  revaluation  and  consolidation within  the framework of the inventory measurement according to IFRS (EUR  12.0 million)  and write-downs on the  value  adjustments  to  be  made  within  the framework  of purchase price allocation (EUR 16.2 million) weighed   on earnings.  Additionally, esco´s earnings in Europe were adversely affected by one-time effects in  France and the Netherlands (about EUR 21 million).

Adjusted earnings also up significantly year-on-year Adjusted earnings before taxes in the first quarter  totalled  EUR  237.5 million and were therefore up about 43% on  the  figure  for  the   same  period in  the previous year. Group earnings  after  taxes  and adjustments  reached EUR  175.8 million (+44%), after having been EUR 122.5 million one year before. (Details  of the adjustment process can be found in the quarterly financial report  Q1/2010, pages 11-12.)

Outlook for 2010: Significant revenue and earnings increase expected In the first quarter, demand  for  potash  and  magnesium  products   was  mainly supported by the need of the trade sector  to  once   again  increase  their  low inventories in preparation for the spring season in Europe. In the meantime,  it has become clear that the volumes demanded by the trade sector  were  also  used by farmers in Europe. Against this backdrop,  global  potash  sales  volumes  in 2010 as a whole will probably increase to  between  45  and  50   million  tonnes (previous forecast: about 45 million tonnes; 2009: 32 million tonnes) and  sales volumes in the Potash and Magnesium Products Business Segment  will  rise  to  a good 6.5 million tonnes of product (previous  forecast:  just  under  6  million tonnes; 2009: 4.3 million tonnes). On this basis, and considering the   available production capacity of just under 8  million  tonnes  of   potash  and  magnesium products, a fractional production cutback in the second  half  of  the  year  is likely. Based on current potash prices,  a  significantly  lower  average  price level than in the previous year is, however, expected. Therefore, 2010  revenues of the Potash and Magnesium Products Business Segment should  increase   tangibly in comparison to one year ago. In the  Nitrogen  Fertilizers Business  Segment, sales are likely to increase significantly. Significant revenue growth  is  also expected for the Salt Business Segment. As a result of the first-time  inclusion of Morton Salt for an entire year, a consolidation effect of over EUR 500 million is anticipated.

For the financial year of 2010, K+S  Group  revenues  are  therefore likely  to increase significantly in comparison to the previous year.

There  should  be  significantly  higher  operating  earnings  EBIT   I  for  the financial year 2010 in comparison to last year´s figure. This is  in  connection to the aforementioned consolidation effect in the  Salt  Business  Segment,  the incipient turnaround in earnings in the Nitrogen Fertilizers  Business  Segment, and the expected increase in earnings  in  the  Potash  and  Magnesium  Products Business Segment.

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

Significant reduction of indebtedness expected With a net debt   (including  non-current  provisions)  of  currently  EUR 1,048.6 million and a level of indebtedness of 44.1%, and as a result of high operating and free cash flows expected this year, the K+S Group  has a  strong financial base. Against the background of the anticipated   development  in earnings,  the level of financial debt  should   decline  significantly  in comparison  to  the previous year. Subjects  to  these  conditions,  the  K+S Group  will,  in  all likelihood, also achieve capital structure targets with an equity ratio of  more than 40% and a level of indebtedness of under 50% in 2010.

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). For additional information on K+S please visit www.k-plus-s.com.

Note to editors

@@start.t2@@The financial report for the 1st quarter  of  2010  and  the  video  webcast  of Norbert  Steiner,  Chairman  of  the  Board  of  Executive  Directors    of    K+S Aktiengesellschaft, are available at www.k-plus-s.com.

Today´s Annual General Meeting of K+S Aktiengesellschaft will be transmitted on the internet at www.k-plus-s.com until the end of the speech by the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors. The speech and the presentation will be@@end@@

available at 10:00 a.m. CET.

Current image material relating to the K+S Group can be downloaded from our website. Photos of today´s Annual General Meeting are available on the internet at www.k-plus-s.com as of 11:00 a.m. CET.

We are offering a conference call in English on 12 May 2010 at  3:00 p.m.  CET. Representatives of the press, shareholders, investors and all  other  interested parties are invited to follow the conference via a live webcast  at  www.k-plus-

@@start.t3@@s.com. The conference is  being  recorded  and  will  also  be  available  as  a podcast.

Contact:

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@@end@@

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 - such as those  described  in  the  risk  report  -  arise, actual developments and events may deviate from those expected  at   the  present time. Outside the legally prescribed regulations on publication, the Company  is under no obligation to update the statements included in this press release.

@@start.t4@@|K+S Group at a Glance              |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|Q1/2010                                        | |                 |      |              | |            |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|All figures in accordance with  |  |Q1            |      |Q1          | |            |
|IFRS                                            |  |                |      |              | |            |
| |                                            |    |Jan.-March |      |Jan.-Marc| |            |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |h            | |            |
| |                                            |    |2010          |      |2009        | |Change  |
| |                                            |    |EUR milion    |      |EUR million| |in %      |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|Revenues                                  |    |1,533.6      |      |1,075.7  | |+42.6    |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium            |    |498.4         |      |366.0      | |+36.2    |
| |Products                                |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Nitrogen Fertilizers            |    |385.5         |      |342.1      | |+12.7    |
| |Salt                                      |    |616.4         |      |338.3      | |+82.2    |
| |Complementary Business         |    |33.3          |      |29.1        | |+14.4    |
| |Segments                                |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Reconciliation                      |    |0.1            |      |0.2         | |(50.0)  |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|Operating earnings (EBIT I)    |    |267.7         |      |174.0      | |+53.9    |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium            |    |150.6         |      |97.0        | |+55.3    |
| |Products                                |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Nitrogen Fertilizers            |    |14.5          |      |8.1         | |+79.0    |
| |Salt                                      |    |107.9         |      |80.2        | |+34.5    |
| |Complementary Business         |    |6.4            |      |2.0         | |+220.0  |
| |Segments                                |    |                 |      |              | |            |
| |Reconciliation                      |    |(11.7)        |      |(13.3)    | |-          |
| |                                            |    |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings after operating                      |262.9  |      |152.9      | |+71.9    |
|hedging transactions (EBIT II)            |          |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Financial result                          | |(30.2)        |      |(8.4)      | |-          |
|                                                    | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes        | |232.7         |      |144.5      | |+61.0    |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes,          |  |237.5|      |165.6      | |+43.4    |
|adjusted1)                                         |  |        |      |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes          | |172.3         |      |107.3      | |+60.6    |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes, adjusted1)| |175.8|      |122.5      | |+43.5    |
| |                                                 | |                 |      |              | |            |
|Earnings per share, adjusted (EUR)1)|0.92          |      |0.74        | |+24.3    |
| |                                                    | |              |      |              | |            |
|Capital expenditure2)                    | |27.3        |      |29.1        | |(6.2)    |
|                                                      | |              |      |              | |            |
|Employees as of 31 March (number),| |15,164    |      |12,334    | |+22.9    |
| |of which trainees (number)          | |519         |      |516         | |+0.6      |
|1) The adjusted key figures only contain the earnings actually realised  |
|on operating forecast hedges for the respective reporting period. The      |
|changes in market value of operating forecast hedges still outstanding,  |
|however, are not taken into account in the adjusted earnings. Any            |
|resulting effects on deferred and cash taxes are also eliminated; tax      |
|rate Q1/10: 27.9% (Q1/09: 27.9%).                                                                |
|2)  Cash-effective investments in or depreciation on property, plant and |
|equipment, intangible assets.                                                                      |@@end@@

@@start.t5@@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