October 11, 2015 / 12:06 PM / 3 years ago

K+S CEO says top end of profit forecast "very ambitious" - paper

FRANKFURT, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The upper end of German potash miner K+S’s profit forecast range has become “very ambitious”, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) quoted Chief Executive Norbert Steiner as saying.

K+S has so far said it expects its 2015 operating profit to rise to a range of 780 million to 860 million euros ($886-977 million), from 641 million last year, including costs related to a since-withdrawn takeover offer by Potash Corp of Saskatchewan .

“The upper end is by now very ambitious, but there is nothing to quibble about when it comes to range itself. We feel very comfortable with the forecast,” the paper quoted Steiner as saying.

Potash Corp dropped its offer for K+S on Monday citing a decline in global commodity and equity markets and a lack of engagement by K+S management.

Senior K+S executives dismissed the Canadian firm’s 41-euro-per-share cash bid - which represented a 59 percent premium to the volume-weighted average of K+S’s share price during the previous 12 months - as too low and refused to negotiate.

The withdrawal of the offer sent K+S shares 25 percent lower, wiping almost 1.5 billion euros off its market value.

“We know this will be a topic at the annual general meeting, but we did our jobs conscientiously and have nothing to be afraid of,” FAS quoted Steiner as saying, adding that any investor should be aware of the risks associated with investing in stocks.

K+S is due to publish quarterly financial results on Nov. 11 and holds its next annual general meeting on May 11, 2016.

$1 = 0.8805 euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Susan Thomas

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