* K+S says dividend for 2012 could be above 1.30 eur/shr
* Says 2012 net income bolstered by sale of Nitrogen unit
* Share indicated up 1.8 pct
(Adds detail, background)
FRANKFURT, Aug 14 K+S AG, the world's
fourth-largest potash supplier, said on Tuesday it could lift
its dividend this year on the back of a likely boost to profit
from the sale of its K+S Nitrogen unit.
K+S said adjusted group earnings after tax, including the
expected accounting profit from its sale of K+S Nitrogen, would
be in a range of 630 million euros ($778 million) to 690 million
euros, up from 582 million euros last year.
"For 2012, there are... opportunities for a higher
dividend," K+S said in a statement. It paid 1.30 euros per share
The company repeated that its dividend policy was to pay out
40-50 percent of its annual adjusted net income.
Group net profit from continuing operations was expected to
be between 540 million euros and 600 million euros in 2012, down
from 626 million euros last year, the company said.
K+S last month beat second-quarter sales and operating
profit forecasts, as higher crop prices drive demand for
fertiliser minerals in its main European market.
Prices of crops such as soy, wheat and corn
have risen between 20 and 40 percent in global markets
since early June -- just before the end of the quarter -- mainly
driven by supply shortages due to drought in the United States.
Higher prices for produce give farmers a better return on
expenses such as fertiliser.
While the severe drought in many U.S. corn growing areas may
dent near-term fertiliser sales in North America, the resulting
spike in global corn prices bodes well for fertiliser demand in
"The current demand development for potash and magnesium
products in the markets relevant to us should therefore continue
in the coming months and should cause this business segment to
show even slightly rising operating earnings," K+S Chief
Executive Norbert Steiner said in the statement
That rise should substantially offset a strong decline in
the operating earnings at the company's Salt business, after
mild temperatures at the start of the year depressed prices for
K+S said adjusted group earnings from continuing operations
rose 17 percent to 141.2 million euros in the second quarter.
($1 = 0.8096 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Jonathan Gould; Editing by