K+S Aktiengesellschaft

EANS-News: K+S Aktiengesellschaft
K+S Group stays on course Significant growth in revenues and earnings in 2011 - Continued attractive prospects

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Annual Reports/annual result/Company Information/K+S Aktiengesellschaft


Kassel (euro adhoc) - Kassel, 15 March 2012

K+S Group stays on course
Significant growth in revenues and earnings in 2011 - Continued attractive
prospects


 • Financial Year 2011

   -  High demand for fertilizers and strong salt business once again
   -  Revenues rise by 11% to EUR 5.2 billion
   -  Operating earnings EBIT I reach EUR 976 million (+37%), the second-best
      result in the history of the Company
   -  Adjusted earnings per share from continued operations improve, reaching
EUR
      3.52 (+49%)
   -  Adjusted earnings per share at EUR 3.04 (+30%)
   -  Dividend proposal raised significantly: EUR 1.30/share (2010: EUR 1.00)

 • Q4/2011
   -  Fertilizers: More cautious management of early stocking-up by trade
      sector; Salt result under record level of 2010 due to weather conditions
   -  Revenues at EUR 1.30 billion (Q4/2010: EUR 1.29 billion)
   -  Operating earnings EBIT I increase by 9% to EUR 216.9 million
   -  Adjusted earnings per share from continued operations at EUR 0.80 per
share
      (Q4/2010: EUR 0.78)

 • Attractive prospects for the two coming years
   -  Outlook for 2012: Revenues stable and earnings moderately decreasing due
      to mild winter
   -  Promising outlook for 2013: Revenues should rise slightly, operating
      earnings will probably increase moderately
The K+S Group looks back at 2011 as a year that was  very  successful.  "Despite
the general uncertainty connected with the sovereign debt crisis in  Europe,  in
the past financial year, we managed to achieve the second-best result so far  in
the  Company's  history",  says  Norbert  Steiner,  Chairman  of  the  Board  of
Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft on the occasion of  the  Company´s

financial report press conference.

High demand for fertilizers
The fertilizer business was characterised by strong demand particularly  in  the
first nine months, before a more cautious management  of  early  stocking-up  by
the trade sector  emerged  in  the  fourth  quarter.  The  prices  of  important
agricultural products were at a consistently attractive level in the  course  of
the year, which  offered  a  significant  incentive  for  farmers  worldwide  to
increase the yield per hectare by using more fertilizer.

Salt business achieves record level of previous year
In the Salt business sector, the wintry weather conditions in the first  quarter
of 2011 both in North America and Europe resulted in very high demand.  It  thus
proved possible to again achieve the record sales volumes of the  previous  year
despite the mild winter in the fourth quarter. The salt  business  in  2011  was
thus again above average.

Revenues increase by 11% to EUR 5.2 billion
In financial year 2011, the K+S Group achieved revenues of  EUR  5,150.9 
million,
which was 11% above the figure for the previous year. The increase  in  revenues
is particularly attributable to positive price effects, which were able to  more
than make up for the slightly negative currency and volume  effects.  While  the
Potash and Magnesium Products and Nitrogen Fertilizers business segments  posted
significant revenue growth, the Salt  business  segment  was  able  to  maintain
revenues almost at the high level of the previous year.

In Europe,  revenues  of  EUR  2.6  billion  (+11%)  were  achieved.  This 
region
therefore accounted for half of total revenues. North America achieved  a  share
in revenues of 23% and South America one of 12%, while Asia  accounted  for  11%
of total revenues.

Operating earnings up significantly
During the year under review, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation  and
amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 28% to EUR 1,217.7 million (2010: EUR 953.0 
million).
The increase  was,  in  particular,  due  to  the  significant  improvements  in
earnings in the Potash and Magnesium Products and Nitrogen Fertilizers  business
segments. At 23.6%, the EBITDA margin also reached a very pleasing level  (2010:
20.6%).

The key control variable of the K+S Group, operating earnings EBIT I,  increased
by EUR 261.2 million or 37% to EUR 975.7 million (2010: EUR 714.5 million). At 
18.9%,
the EBIT margin also reached a very good level (2010: 15.4%).

The Potash and Magnesium Products and  Nitrogen  Fertilizers  business  segments
increased their earnings above all due to  fertilizer  prices  rising  over  the
year. The earnings of the Salt business segment were below the  figure  for  the
previous year, since although the de-icing salt business was above average,  due
to a different regional mix it did not achieve the record level of the  previous
year.

Adjusted earnings before and after taxes also strongly improved
Adjusted earnings before incomes taxes were EUR 911.8 million and thus rose  by 
EUR
317.3 million or 53% in comparison to the previous  year's  figure.  At 
EUR 673.6
million,  the  adjusted  Group   earnings   from   continued   operations   were
EUR 219.8 million or about 50% above the previous  year´s  level  (2010:  EUR 
453.8
million). The main  reasons  for  this  were  the  sharply  increased  operating
earnings and a significantly improved financial result.

For  the  year  under  review,  adjusted  earnings  per  share  from   continued
operations amounted to EUR 3.52 - an increase  of  about  50%  over  the 
previous
year´s figure of EUR 2.37. Adjusted  earnings  per  share  including 
discontinued
operations reached EUR 3.04 (2010: EUR 2.33).
4th quarter of 2011: Higher earnings despite subdued environment
The consequences of the sovereign debt crisis  became  noticeable  also  in  the
fertilizer business towards the end of the year. With  the  2008/2009  financial
crisis still fresh in mind, the trade sector felt uncertain at the  end  of  the
year and, for the time being,  postponed  the  customary  early  stocking-up  of
fertilizers.

In the West European  de-icing  salt  business,  the  early  stocking-up,  which
extended even into the fourth  quarter,  resulted  in  an  overall  satisfactory
start to the winter  season  2011/2012  despite  the  relatively  mild  weather.
However, in the United States and in Canada too, the season began below  average
due to the also rather mild weather.

At EUR 1,300.2 million, revenues of the K+S Group in the fourth  quarter  of 
2011
were somewhat higher than the figure for the previous year (EUR 1,285.3 
million).


During the fourth quarter, earnings before  interest,  taxes,  depreciation  and
amortisation (EBITDA) rose by about 11% to EUR 290.8  million  (previous  year: 
EUR
261.4 million). Operating earnings EBIT I improved  in  the  fourth  quarter  by
about 9% to EUR 216.9 million (previous year: EUR 198.6 million). The 
price-related
increase in earnings in the  Potash  and  Magnesium  Products  business  segment
managed to more than make up for the significant decrease  in  earnings  in  the
Salt business segment.

Adjusted Group earnings from continued operations rose in the fourth quarter  by
3% to EUR 153.3 million (Q4/2010: EUR  148.8  million)  after  the  previous 
year´s
quarter had benefited from a low tax ratio.

Board of Executive Directors and Supervisory Board propose dividend of EUR 1.30
per share
The Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board will propose  to  the
Annual General Meeting that the dividend for the past financial year  should  be
raised in accordance with the significantly increased earnings, and EUR  1.30 
per
share be paid (2010 dividend: EUR 1.00). This would correspond to a dividend 
pay-
out ratio of about 43%.

K+S Group with attractive prospects
K+S´s Chairman of the Board of Executive  Directors,  Norbert  Steiner,  on  the
expected course of business: "Despite all the macroeconomic uncertainties,  2012
should nevertheless be another good year for the K+S Group. The current  pricing
level for agricultural raw materials  offers  attractive  income  prospects  for
farmers and should therefore lead  to  a  positive  development  in  fertilizers
demand in those sales regions  of  relevance  for  us.  However,  for  the  Salt
business, due to the  weather-related  unusually  poor  start  to  the  de-icing
business, we are anticipating significantly lower volumes of  business  compared
to the above-average performance in  2011.  In  sum,  K+S  Group  revenues  will
probably remain stable for 2012, while operating earnings and adjusted  earnings
after taxes should, however, decrease moderately  due  primarily  to  the  muted
demand for de-icing  salt.  Nonetheless,  without  the  impact  of  last  year´s
disposal of the COMPO business, there is a good chance for an  at  least  stable
dividend for the year 2012."

In 2013, revenues of the K+S Group should increase  slightly  in  comparison  to
2012. Owing to the high profitability  of  the  Potash  and  Magnesium  Products
business segment and on the basis of an again assumed normal winter business  in
line with the long-term average historical volumes of de-icing salt,  there  are
realistic  opportunities  of  a  moderate  increase  in  operating  earnings  in
comparison to 2012. This  should  also  positively  impact  the  adjusted  Group
earnings after taxes. A raising of the dividend is therefore possible.

(Further details of the outlook in  the  Financial  Report  2011,  page  135  et
seqq.).




Experience growth
The K+S  Group  is  one  of  the  world's  leading  suppliers  of  standard  and
speciality fertilizers. In  the  salt  business,  K+S  is  the  world´s  leading
producer with sites in Europe as well as North and South America. 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 14,000 people. The  K+S  share  -
the commodities stock on the German DAX index - is listed on  all  German  stock
exchanges (ISIN: DE000KSAG888, symbol: SDF). More information about K+S  can  be
found at www.k-plus-s.com.


Note to editors
The Financial Report 2011, the Corporate and Sustainability Report 2011 as  well
as the K+S Q4/11 Facts & Figures can be downloaded  by  clicking  the  following
link on our website: www.k-plus-s.com/2011q4en. In addition,  you  will  find  a
video message on business developments from Norbert  Steiner,  Chairman  of  the
Board of  Executive  Directors,  and  from  10 a.m.,  today´s  presentations  of
Norbert Steiner and Joachim Felker, member of the Board of Executive  Directors,
on K+S´s financial report press conference in Frankfurt am Main.

An analysts´ conference  in  English  will  take  place  today  at  1  p.m.,  in
Frankfurt am Main as well. Norbert  Steiner  and  Joachim  Felker  will  attend.
Shareholders, investors, representatives of the press and all  other  interested
parties are invited to follow the conference via a live webcast at  (www.k-plus-
s.com/en/audio-und-video/cc.html)  or  via  telephone  (+49-69-6677-75757;   PIN
3564773#). The conference is being recorded and will  also  be  available  as  a
podcast.


Your contact persons:

Press:      
Michael Wudonig, CFA
Telefon:    +49 561 9301-1262
Fax:  +49 561 9301-1666
michael.wudonig@k-plus-s.com

Investor Relations:
Christian Herrmann, CFA
Telefon:   +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.


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

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

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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company:     K+S Aktiengesellschaft
             Bertha-von-Suttner-Straße  7
             D-34131 Kassel
phone:       +49 (0)561 9301-1460
FAX:         +49 (0)561 9301-2425
mail:     christian.herrmann@k-plus-s.com
WWW:      http://www.k-plus-s.com
sector:      Chemicals
ISIN:        DE000KSAG888
indexes:     DAX, Midcap Market Index, CDAX, Classic All Share, HDAX, Prime All
             Share
stockmarkets: official dealing: Hannover, Berlin, Hamburg, regulated dealing:
             München, Stuttgart, official dealing/prime standard: Frankfurt 
language:   English
 



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