08 August 2002 17:19 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--BASF's North America operations are expected to return to profitability in 2002 based on the company's first half financial performance, BASF Corporation chairman and chief executive officer Klaus Peter Loebbe said Wednesday.
Speaking during a media briefing at the company's Mount Olive, New Jersey headquarters, Loebbe said the unit's earnings before income taxes (Ebit) for the first six months of this year excluding special charges were $101.6m (Euro105m) compared to a loss of $80.3m in 2001.
Sales in North America increased 3.2% to $4.4bn, he added.
Said Loebbe: "Signals regarding the US economy continue to be mixed. Strong housing and automotive markets combined with low inflation and interest rates have been positive signs to this point. At the same time, within the chemical industry we have continuing challenges from overcapacities."
Despite the volatile economy, Loebbe said BASF sees many opportunities to enhance long-term growth and profitability.
He added: "We are not waiting for a definite upturn in the economy to carry us along. We are taking those actions needed to make profitable growth a reality now."
BASF Corporation, with 2001 sales of $6.9bn, is the North American affiliate of BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF AG had sales of approximately $29bn in 2001.
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