* Kloeckner CEO says expects to pay 2014 dividend
* Says sees demand in Europe, U.S. rising this year
* Says prices in Europe, U.S. could pick up in Q2
* Shares rise almost 3 percent
(Adds further CEO comments, shares)
DUESSELDORF, Germany, Feb 12 German steel
distributor Kloeckner & Co expects to reach its goal
of paying shareholders their first dividend in four years for
2014 after the year's first few weeks went well, its chief
"We had a good start to the year and see ourselves back on
track for growth," Gisbert Ruehl told Reuters on Wednesday.
Like other companies in the sector, Kloeckner was hit by a
slump in demand for steel in Europe as government spending cuts
and tight credit conditions hurt demand for cars, buildings and
In November, Kloeckner announced a new round of
restructuring and cost-cutting moves as it seeks to return to
profit this year, even if its markets do not recover as quickly
Ruehl said he expected steel demand, and Kloeckner's sales
volume, to grow by 1 to 2 percent in Europe this year and by 3
to 4 percent in the United States. That should also support
prices, he said.
"In the second quarter, prices could pick up again, both in
Europe and the United States," he said, adding that acquisitions
could then be back on the agenda in those regions.
Shares in Kloeckner, which is due to publish its financial
results for 2013 on March 6, rose almost 3 percent following
Ruehl's comments. They were trading 1.8 percent higher at 11.065
euros by 1559 GMT.
(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Maria Sheahan;
Editing by David Holmes)