BASF Q3 net profit falls 69% to €237m due to global conditions

29 October 2009 06:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--BASF's third-quarter net profits dropped 69% year on year to €237m ($349m) due to the global economic crisis, the German chemicals major said on Thursday.

Sales for the three-month period ended 30 September were €12.8bn, down 19% from the same period last year, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) before special items fell 20% to €1.2bn, BASF said in a statement.

However, earnings in petrochemicals and intermediates increased compared with the third quarter of 2008, it added.

Destocking by customers worldwide appears to be over for the time being, which has caused a slight upturn in demand, but customers are still placing smaller orders at increasingly short notice, BASF said.

BASF Chairman Jurgen Hambrecht said: “In the past three months our business has stabilised at a low level. Positive impulses are coming from Asia, especially from China, and from parts of South America. Europe and North America remain weak.”

“Overall, there is much to suggest that the worst is behind us. After a steep plunge, we are now climbing gradually out of the trough. The recovery will be slow and uneven,” he added.

BASF said it believed its fourth-quarter income from operations before special items would likely be higher than that of the weak fourth quarter of 2008 but down from the third quarter of this year.

The integration of specialty chemical company Ciba had been faster than planned in some areas and therefore a larger proportion of the integration costs would be incurred in 2009, it said.

“Higher costs for the Ciba integration will additionally negatively impact earnings. BASF is therefore unlikely to reach its goal of earning its cost of capital this year,” said Hambrecht.

 ($1 = €0.68)

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By: Lucy Craymer
+44 20 8652 3214



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