March 15, 2018 / 7:06 AM / a year ago

New mine to help K+S post significant earnings gain in 2018

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German potash miner K+S (SDFGn.DE) vowed to increase earnings significantly this year, as it ramps up production at its new Bethune mine in Canada and after overcoming temporary restrictions on waste water at its main domestic mine.

Revenues would be tangibly higher and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) would see significant gains, it said on Thursday.

Fourth-quarter operating profit adjusted for currency hedging effects (EBIT I) came in at 92.7 million euros ($14 million), up from 27.5 million a year earlier but slightly below the 95 million euros expected on average by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Global potash prices are slowly perking up as plant closures ease oversupply in the industry. K+S said the average price of its potash products edged up by 1.6 percent to 250 euros per ton during the quarter.

A 180-million-euro waste water treatment plant in Germany will help the mineral miner to cope with what remains of local environmental restrictions after painful temporary limits were lifted.

It has also settled legal disputes with local communities and environmentalists, who were fighting its practice of injecting salty waste water - a byproduct of processing potassium ore into fertilizer products - into porous layers of rock.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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