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Growth course continued
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Kassel (euro adhoc) - Kassel, 12 March 2009
Growth course continued Strong Rise in Revenues and Earnings in 2008
. At EUR 4.8 billion, revenues up 43% year on year . At EUR 1.34 billion, operating earnings increase almost fivefold . Adjusted earnings per share at EUR 5.94 (2007: EUR 1.06) . At EUR 2.40, dividend proposed increases almost fivefold . 2009 Outlook: Revenues and earnings lower The year 2008 was by far the best year in the over 100-year history of the K+S
Group. "The increases in revenues and earnings speak for themselves - but that is not all, the figures also confirm that the K+S Group is in the right position for important, global megatrends. They include, above all, the growing world population, rising meat consumption in emerging market countries associated with an increase in demand for feed as well as growing demand for biofuels. To put it differently: Also and precisely in times of financial and economic crises, this is a far more stable starting point for sustainable success than those of many other sectors," says Norbert Steiner, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft.
At EUR 4.8 billion, revenues rise 43% year on year For financial year 2008, K+S posted revenues of EUR 4,794.4 million, an increase of 43.4% year on year. The increase in revenues can be attributed to positive price effects, which could more than make up for the moderate declines in revenues that resulted from currency factors as well as for the significant declines in revenues caused by volume factors in the fourth quarter.
The Potash and Magnesium Products, fertiva and COMPO business segments increased their revenues mainly as a result of considerably higher fertilizer prices. In the Salt business segment, weak de-icing salt sales in the first quarter were more than compensated for by higher revenues in the salt for chemical use, industrial salt and food grade salt segments and also as a consequence of the onset of winter in the fourth quarter.
With 50% of the total, the Potash and Magnesium Products business segment posted the highest revenues of all the K+S Group's business segments followed by fertiva, COMPO and Salt. In Europe, K+S achieved revenues of EUR 3,263.8 million (+46%). The region thus accounted for just under 70% of total revenues. Revenues generated on overseas markets rose by 37% to a total of EUR 1,530.6 million.
At EUR 1.34 billion, operating earnings almost quintupled At EUR 1,342.7 million, operating earnings EBIT I were up a good EUR 1 billion or 370% on last year's figure (2007: EUR 285.7 million). Except for the Salt and the Complementary Business segments, all business segments were able to improve on the previous year materially. Far higher prices for standard and speciality fertilizers resulted in a situation where it proved possible to considerably more than make up for higher production costs as well as currency effects.
With regard to operating earnings, seasonality was overshadowed by the strong price effects. The prices for fertilizers, which had risen constantly during the course of the year, resulted in a large growth in earnings, which reached its zenith in the third quarter; in the fourth quarter, the volume sold declined significantly in the wake of the beginnings of the financial and economic crisis. Operating earnings in the Salt business segment were, as expected, somewhat lower than those of the previous year due to higher costs, in particular for energy and freight, and of a lower currency result.
Adjust earnings before and after taxes rise strongly
Adjusted earnings before taxes amounted to EUR 1,199.1 million. If these earnings are adjusted for the included effects of market value changes from hedging transactions as well as derivatives that are no longer in operation amounting to EUR 150.4 million, adjusted earnings before taxes amount to EUR 1,349.5 million. Thus, this more appropriate financial indicator for assessing economic success improved by EUR 1.1 billion year on year.
At EUR 979.3 million, Group earnings adjusted for the effect of market value changes exceeded the previous year's level by EUR 804.0 million. In addition to dramatically higher operating earnings, this was also due to the better financial result.
For the year under review, adjusted earnings per share amounted to EUR 5.94, up 460% on the previous year's figure of EUR 1.06.
At EUR 2.40, dividend proposed increases almost fivefold K+S pursues an earnings-based policy on dividends and normally strives for a dividend rate of 40% to 50% of the adjusted Group earnings after taxes. The Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board will thus propose to the Annual General Meeting that the dividend for the past financial year should be raised substantially in accordance with earnings and EUR 2.40 per share be paid. This corresponds to a dividend payment rate of about 40%. With 165.0 million shares outstanding, this therefore results in a total dividend payment of EUR 396.0 million. Based on a share price of EUR 39.97 at the end of the year, our dividend proposal will lead to a dividend yield of 6.0%, and, on the basis of yesterday's closing price, even of 7,1%.
2009 Outlook Following the estimates in the outlook for the third quarter of 2008 and against the background of the price level for potash and magnesium products evident in the first quarter, K+S expects tangibly higher average prices for 2009 as a whole compared with the previous year. However, K+S now expects significantly lower sales, which should rather offset the aforementioned price effect. While the revenues of the COMPO and fertiva business segments should be down significantly, mainly in view of substantial price decreases for nitrogen fertilizers, K+S expects significantly higher revenues for the Salt business segment because of the good start with de-icing salt.
Overall, the revenues of the K+S Group in 2009 should be down markedly on the previous year. The revenue forecast assumes an average US dollar exchange rate for 2009 of about 1.30 USD/EUR (2008: 1.47 USD/EUR).
In 2009, the total costs of the K+S Group should decrease only moderately in comparison to the previous year: As far as personnel expenses are concerned, K+S expects that the additional costs arising from the most recent collective agreement pay rise and a slight increase in the number of personnel will moderately exceed the savings resulting from short-time working. By contrast, energy costs should reach a lower level than a year ago due to price and volume factors. K+S also sees some relief in material and freight costs, while depreciation/amortisation charges should increase by a rate in the mid-single- digit percentage range.
For the financial year 2009, K+S estimates significantly lower EBIT I operating earnings in comparison to the peak experienced last year. This is primarily due to the already described decreasing sales volume in the Potash and Magnesium Products business segment. Even a stronger US dollar exchange rate and higher earnings from salt against last year are not inclining us to change this forecast.
The adjusted Group earnings after taxes should be significantly lower in 2009 in line with the development of operating earnings.
For 2010, K+S thinks it highly probable that revenues will again increase markedly; this assessment is based primarily on significantly higher revenues in the Potash and Magnesium Products business segment due to volume factors. Given that, K+S sees realistic chances of a significant increase also in operating earnings.
Medium- to Long-Term Trends in Demand "The indicators for healthy and profitable growth for the K+S Group remain favourable for the coming years: The growing global population, the tendency for the emerging market countries to consume more meat, in spite of recurrent economic crises, and the associated increase in the demand for feed will prompt the demand for large parts of our product range to increase further," says Steiner. In the global salt business too, the world population trend described above and the resultant changes in lifestyle should have a positive impact. The fact that de-icing salt will continue to be urgently needed to ensure road safety has again been demonstrated during the past few months on both sides of the Atlantic. "Against the backdrop of strong financial fundamentals, we continue to assess the economic position, above all in the medium term, as positive," Steiner continued.
Experience growth The K+S Group is one of the world's leading suppliers of speciality and standard fertilizers, plant care as well as salt products. With its products and brands, K+S offers its customers a range of needs-based goods and services which provides growth opportunities in virtually every sphere of daily life. The K+S Group employs 12,000 people and achieved revenues of just under EUR 5.0 billion in 2008. K+S is quoted on all German stock exchanges (ISIN: DE0007162000, symbol: SDF) and listed on the DAX® share index.
Note to editors The 2008 Financial Report, the 2008 Corporate and Sustainability Report as well as the Quarterly report on the course of business for the K+S Group in the fourth quarter of 2008 can be viewed and ordered on our website www.k-plus- s.com. In addition, the speech given by Norbert Steiner, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft, at today's K+S Press and Analysts´ Conference will be available to you on our website as of 10 am.
Conference call for analysts You can follow the analyst conference in English, that will also take place today in connection with the publication of the annual financial statements, live on the Internet at www.k-plus-s.com as of 1 pm or per phone under +49.69.5899.90799, PIN 3524527#.
Your contact persons:
Press: Oliver Morgenthal phone: +49 561 9301-1047 fax: +49 561 9301-2160
Investor Relations: Christian Herrmann phone: +49 561 9301-1460 fax: +49 561 9301-2425 firstname.lastname@example.org
This press release contains facts and forecasts that relate to the future development of the K+S Group and its companies. The forecasts are estimates that we have made on the basis of all the information available to us at this moment in time. Should the assumptions underlying these forecasts prove not to be correct, actual events may deviate from those expected at the present time.
|K+S Group at a Glance | | | | | | | |4th Quarter 2008 | | | | | | | | | | |Q4 | |Q4 | | | |All figures in accordance with | |Oct.-Dec. | |Oct.-Dec.| | | |IFRSs | | | | | | | | | | |2008 | |2007 | |Change | | | | |EUR million | |EUR million| |in % | | | | | | | | | | |Revenues | |955.5 | |893.7 | |+6.9 | | | | | | | | | | | |Potash and Magnesium Products | |498.7 | |386.3 | |+29.1 | | |COMPO | |100.8 | |127.5 | |(20.9) | | |Fertiva | |113.8 | |179.5 | |(36.6) | | |Salt | |209.3 | |168.9 | |+23.9 | | |Complementary Business Segments| |32.8 | |31.4 | |+4.5 | | |Reconciliation | |0.1 | |0.1 | |- | | | | | | | | | | |Operating earnings (EBIT I) | |287.8 | |33.6 | |+756.5 | | | | | | | | | | | |Potash and Magnesium Products | |275.3 | |4.2 | |+6,454.8| | |COMPO | |(10.7) | |3.8 | |- | | |Fertiva | |5.5 | |10.2 | |(46.1) | | |Salt | |26.2 | |17.9 | |+46.4 | | |Complementary Business Segments| |5.8 | |7.8 | |(25.6) | | |Reconciliation | |(14.3) | |(10.3) | |- | | | | | | | | | | |Earnings after market value changes |286.0 | |(137.5) | |- | |and derivatives no longer in | | | | | | |operation (EBIT II) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Earnings before income taxes | |315.1 | |(148.7) | |- | | | | | | | | | | |Earnings before income taxes, | |316.9 | |22.4 | |+1,314.7| |adjusted1) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Group earnings after taxes | |226.4 | |(97.3) | |- | | | | | | | | | | |Group earnings after taxes, adjusted1)| |227.5| |22.9 | |+893.4 | | | | | | | | | | |Earnings per share, adjusted |1.38 | |0.14 | |+885.7 | |(EUR)1),2) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Capital expenditure3) | |64.4 | |75.4 | |(14.6) | | | | | | | | | |1) Adjusted for the effects of market value changes from hedging | |transaction as well as derivatives that are | |no longer in operation; in case of adjusted Group earnings and | |adjusted earnings per share, the resulting | |tax effects were also eliminated. | |2) Adjusted to the share split in the ratio 1:4 (entry in Commercial | |Register: 24 June 2008; technical | |execution: 21 July 2008) | |3) For or in connection with property, plant and equipment, intangible| |assets | |K+S Group at a Glance | | | | | | | |January to December 2008 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |All figures in accordance with | |Jan.-Dec. | |Jan.-Dec.| | | |IFRSs | | | | | | | | | | |2008 | |2007 | |Change | | | | |EUR million | |EUR million| |in % | | | | | | | | | | |Revenues | |4,794.4 | |3,344.1 | |+43.4 | | | | | | | | | | | |Potash and Magnesium Products | |2,397.4 | |1,408.0 | |+70.3 | | |COMPO | |750.9 | |617.4 | |+21.6 | | |fertiva | |901.5 | |648.0 | |+39.1 | | |Salt | |618.6 | |545.1 | |+13.5 | | |Complementary Business Segments| |125.3 | |125.1 | |+0.2 | | |Reconciliation | |0.7 | |0.5 | |- | | | | | | | | | | |Operating earnings (EBIT I) | |1,342.7 | |285.7 | |+370.0 | | | | | | | | | | | |Potash and Magnesium Products | |1,203.2 | |177.9 | |+576.3 | | |COMPO | |79.0 | |32.0 | |+146.9 | | |fertiva | |42.4 | |25.3 | |+67.6 | | |Salt | |45.2 | |47.8 | |(5.4) | | |Complementary Business Segments| |25.1 | |37.7 | |(33.4) | | |Reconciliation | |(52.2) | |(35.0) | |- | | | | | | | | | | |Earnings after market value changes |1,192.3| |(106.9) | |- | |and derivatives no longer in operation| | | | | | |(EBIT II) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Earnings before income taxes | |1,199.1 | |(142.6) | |- | | | | | | | | | | |Earnings before income taxes, | |1,349.5| |250.0 | |+439.8 | |adjusted1) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Group earnings after taxes | |870.9 | |(93.3) | |- | | | | | | | | | | |Group earnings after taxes, adjusted1)| |979.3| |175.3 | |+458.6 | | | | | | | | | | |Earnings per share, adjusted |5,94 | |1,06 | |+460,4 | |(EUR)1),2) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Capital expenditure3) | |197.5 | |171.6 | |+15.1 | | | | | | | | | |Employees as of 31 December (number)| |12,368 | |12,033 | |+2.8 | | |of which trainees (number) | |615 | |614 | |- | | | |1) Adjusted for the effects of market value changes from hedging | |transaction as well as derivatives that are | |no longer in operation; a tax rate of 27.9% (2007: 31.6%) was imputed | |for adjusted Group earnings and | |adjusted earnings per share. | |2) Adjusted to the share split in the ratio 1:4 (entry in Commercial | |Register: 24 June 2008; technical | |execution: 21 July 2008) | |3) For or in connection with property, plant and equipment, intangible| |assets |
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