BASF’s business developed positively in the second quarter of 2014. At €18.5 billion, sales rose by 1% compared with the same period of the previous year.
“This was largely the result of higher sales volumes in our chemicals business, which comprises the Chemicals, Performance Products and Functional Materials & Solutions segments, as well as in the Oil & Gas segment,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE
Sales prices decreased slightly. On balance, portfolio measures increased sales by 1%. Continuing negative currency effects (minus 4%) and a considerable decline in sales in Other dampened sales growth for the BASF Group.
At around €2.1 billion, income from operations (EBIT) before special items surpassed the level of the second quarter of 2013 by €221 million. Earnings increased considerably in the chemicals business and the Oil & Gas segment. Earnings declined considerably, however, in the Agricultural Solutions segment and in Other. “The devaluation of almost all major currencies against the euro negatively impacted earnings by roughly €200 million compared to the previous second quarter,” explained Bock.
EBIT increased by €246 million to €2.0 billion compared with the previous second quarter. Net income rose by €142 million to €1.3 billion. Earnings per share were €1.41 in the second quarter of 2014 compared with €1.26 in the same period of the previous year. Adjusted for special items and amortization of intangible assets, earnings per share rose to €1.54 (second quarter of 2013: €1.40).
“In the past months, we continued to implement our ‘We create chemistry’ strategy. We invested in attractive business areas and were successful in the market with our innovations. In addition, we optimized businesses and increased our efficiency,” said Bock.
For 2014, BASF now expects weaker growth in the global economy than was foreseen six months ago. The weakness of relevant major currencies is an additional burden. The company has thus reduced some of its expectations for the global economy in 2014.
“The slight upturn in growth expected for the global economy and key customer industries in 2014 has a positive effect on our business,” Bock said. “We thus stand by our outlook for 2014 despite even more unfavorable currency developments and increased political risks. We aim to increase our sales volumes excluding the effects of acquisitions and divestitures.”
In the Chemicals segment, sales were up 3% compared with the second quarter of 2013. Sales volumes rose in all divisions, posting especially strong volumes growth in the Petrochemicals division in North America. Lower sales prices and negative currency effects reduced the sales increase. EBIT before special items surpassed the level of the previous second quarter by €75 million and increased to €570 million, mainly as a result of higher margins in the Petrochemicals division.
Sales in the Performance Products segment declined by 3% due to negative currency effects. With prices stable, volumes slightly increased; sales volumes grew especially in the Asia Pacific region. EBIT before special items grew by €41 million to €435 million. This was mainly the result of lower fixed costs, partly owing to restructuring measures.
Sales matched the previous second-quarter level in the Functional Materials & Solutions segment. Sales volumes increased considerably, primarily in the Catalysts division. Negative currency effects put a strain on sales development. In the Construction Chemicals division, sales declined considerably as a result of portfolio effects, as well. EBIT before special items increased by €63 million to €356 million. This was largely owing to higher volumes and reduced fixed costs.