11 de noviembre de 2015 / 7:04 / hace 2 años

UPDATE 1-K+S cuts top end of profit target range on low potash volumes

* Top end of profit aim range 830 mln eur vs 860 mln prvsly

* Q3 adj EBIT 132 mln eur vs 136 mln poll avg

* Weak potash demand partly offset by strong salt business (Adds details on Q3, salt business, Brazil)

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT, Nov 11 (Reuters) - German fertiliser mining group K+S, which fended off a takeover approach by Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, cut the upper end of its earnings forecast range as lower crop prices and a weak Brazilian business weighed on potash demand.

K+S on Wednesday guided for 2015 adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 780-830 million euros ($839-$893 million). It had previously targeted 780-860 million euros, up from 641 million last year.

Third-quarter adjusted EBIT declined 1.4 percent to 132.1 million euros, slightly below the average analyst forecast of 136 million in a Reuters poll.

“Pressure on soft commodity prices is beginning to have a negative impact on farmers’ earnings prospects, prompting them to implement cost saving,” K+S said in its quarterly report, also pointing to lower emerging market currencies and a credit squeeze among Brazilian farmers.

Brazil accounted for 9 percent of group revenues last year.

While its main potash fertiliser business saw earnings markedly below consensus, a stronger-than-expected salt business provided some relief.

K+S, which is the world’s largest salt miner, said that business was boosted in the quarter as low salt inventories on the U.S. East Coast were being replenished.

Potash industry leaders Potash Corp and Russia’s Uralkali recently trimmed output plans and cut their sales forecasts due to lower grain prices and the weakening of major clients’ local currencies. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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