Buoyant BASF reports a solid third quarter
By Anthony Clark
Posted 25 October 2012
BASF carried its first half momentum into its third quarter – sales rose by 8% to £15.3bn, largely due to increased volumes while income before exceptionals was £1.7bn, 5% up on Q3 2011.
However, BASF’s overall performance was uneven. The higher contribution from oil and gas and the firm’s agricultural segments offset lower earnings in the chemicals business, which comprises the chemicals, plastics and performance products.
Dr Kurt Bock, BASF’s chairman, said: “In the past quarter, the outlook for the world economy has once again not improved and the uncertainty on the international capital markets continues. In China, growth in the third quarter of 2012 has slowed once again compared with the same quarter of the previous year.”
Sales rose in the company’s plastics division, partly as a result of currency effects, said the company. In the polyurethanes both sales volumes and prices increased but despite improved earnings in polyurethanes lower margins for polyamide precursors led to a “considerable decline in earnings in the segment” compared with the same period of the previous year.
“In this challenging environment, we are concentrating on our strengths and expanding our business, but we are also keeping an eye on the costs and are continuing to optimise our business processes,” said Bock.
The outlook is “clouded by continued uncertainty”, he added, especially in the euro zone, and by slower growth in Asia. “Nevertheless, we still aim to exceed the 2011 record levels in sales and income from operations before special items,” Bock said.
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