12 May 2003 00:00 [Source: ICB]BASF's outgoing chairman Jrgen Strube explicitly stated for the first time that BASF has accepted there will be no economic recovery soon.
During his valedictory speech to the company's annual meeting last week he gave further warning of a lacklustre 2003. Strube said: 'We do not expect there to be an upturn in the immediate future.
The current phase of economic weakness has structural roots that will continue to exert a negative influence. We must also reckon with volatile prices for energy and raw materials.'
Strube said he now expected the second quarter to show 'only very moderate growth in sales and earnings'. This was aÊmarginally more downbeat forecast than he gave just one week ago at the first quarter results announcement, when he predictedÊ'only a slight increase' in second quarter earnings.
Strube will not be idle as he has now been elected chairman of BASF's supervisory board and president of Unice, the European Employers Federation.
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