April 10, 2013 / 1:41 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Russia's Uralkali to pay dividend as potash demand grows

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MOSCOW, April 10 (Reuters) - Russia's Uralkali, one of the world's largest potash producers, announced plans for a second-half dividend on Wednesday after net profit grew 5 percent last year and it forecast growing global demand.

The company competes with Canadian Potash Corp of Saskatchewan for the mantle of the world's biggest fertilizer producer after it merged with Russian rival Silvinit in 2011.

Uralkali, controlled by businessman Suleiman Kerimov, said net profit rose to $1.60 billion last year. A poll of analysts had forecast profit of $1.50 billion.

"Although moderate conditions in the export market led to a decrease of Uralkali's sales volume by 12 percent, the average realised export price was 5 percent higher compared to 2011," the company said in a statement.

Its board of directors recommended a dividend payment of 3.90 roubles per share, or $0.62 per global depository receipt (GDR), for the second half of 2012.

Uralkali expects potash price to rebound in 2013 and sees global potash demand growing to 53-54 million tonnes from last year's 51 million tonnes, the company added.

Its 2012 revenue was down 6 percent at $3.95 billion, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 5 percent to $2.38 billion. (Reporting by Polina Devitt and Natalia Shurmina; Editing by Lidia Kelly and Tom Pfeiffer)

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