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UPDATE 2-Potash miner K+S confirms 2024 forecast after quarterly profit beat

(Adds CEO comments in paragraphs 6-7, details on supply in paragraph 10, updates share move in paragraph 5)

By Tristan Veyet and Matteo Allievi

May 13 (Reuters) - German potash and salt miner K+S reiterated its 2024 guidance on Monday after confirming a quarterly core profit beat driven by an upbeat performance in Europe on recovering prices and demand.

Potash prices have started to recover after falling last year from 2022's near record highs due to a drop in demand, as farmers used up existing fertiliser stocks and cut back on its use to rein in costs.

After confirming first-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 200 million euros ($215 million) - matching consensus-beating preliminary figures reported in April - the company reaffirmed annual guidance for EBITDA of 500 million-650 million euros.


A strong start to the year in Europe raises its likelihood of reaching the higher end of this range, the Hessian-based group said.

Shares in K+S were down 0.9% at 0922 GMT.

The core profit beat was driven by the Specialty Fertilizer business as well as an overall good performance in Europe, the company said.

"Brazil is showing very strong demand and there is hope that we could see another record here," Lohr added, commenting on potash demand during a call with analysts.

South-East Asia is the only region where potash market remains weak, he said.

South America made up 6.8% of the group's sales in the first quarter, while Asia was responsible for 16.2%.

While the company expects potash supplies from Russia and Belarus to rise, it does not foresee oversupply in the market this year as demand is also picking up.

K+S's upbeat results echo those of Toronto-listed fertiliser group Nutrien, whose core profit was fuelled by strong demand for crop nutrients from North America.

However, they contrast with those of U.S.-based Mosaic and Norway's Yara, which both said lower prices weighed on their quarterly earnings.

($1 = 0.9286 euros) (Reporting by Tristan Veyet and Matteo Allievi in Gdansk; Editing by Janane Venkatraman, Milla Nissi and Jan Harvey)