May 11 (Reuters) – German potash and salt miner K+S SDFGn.DE Wednesday reported better-than-expected quarterly core earnings as higher fertilizer prices and positive currency effects more than offset lower sales volumes and higher energy, logistics and materials.
The group, which produces potash fertilizers and salts for cooking, animal feed and road de-icing, said its core profit (EBITDA) quadrupled to 524 million euros ($553 million) in the first trimester, beat analysts’ average estimate of 514 million in a survey provided by the company.
It said higher average prices and sales volumes for potash products offset lower sales from its de-icing salt business due to the mild winter.
K+S produces around 11% of the world’s potash, an essential crop nutrient. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, market prices for the nutrient, which had already risen considerably, have risen again by around 35%.
Russia is one of the world’s leading suppliers of potash and other crop nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate, urea and ammonia.
K+S reaffirmed its base profit forecast for the full year of 2.3 billion to 2.6 billion euros, which it raised last month.
However, the company said the outlook did not take into account production disruptions due to potential deficiencies in energy or gas supplies at its German sites.
Canadian Rival Nutrien NTR.TOthe world’s largest fertilizer company said last week it was considering further increases in potash output as sanctions continue to limit shipments from Russia and Belarus.
($1 = 0.9475 euros)
(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; editing by Milla Nissi)
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