BASF fully prepared for unsteady recovery from recession - CEO

25 February 2010 10:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LUDWIGSHAFEN (ICIS news)--BASF CEO Jurgen Hambrecht believes that the German chemicals giant is fully prepared to cope with any setbacks during the unsteady recovery from the recession, he said at the company’s annual press conference on Thursday.

“By acting quickly and decisively, we have created room to actively shape our future,” Hambrecht said.

“Even in the worst recession in my career, BASF kept its promise of achieving an EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation] margin of more than 14%. We are therefore confident that we will succeed in further strengthening BASF’s leading position,” he added.

Hambrecht said that 2010 would be a transitional year and that there would be surprises along the way.

BASF on Thursday reported a net profit of €455m ($615m) for the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to a loss of €313m in the year-earlier period.

Fourth-quarter sales were down 7.9% year on year at €13.17bn. However, sales volumes were higher than the prior-year period for the first time in 2009, although the 2008 fourth quarter was hit hard by the economic crisis, BASF said.

Hambrecht added that the integration of the former Ciba activities, acquired in April, was proceeding according to plan and would be largely completed by the beginning of the second quarter of 2010. He added that BASF’s performance products segment, which Ciba has been integrated into, would be profitable in 2010.

($1 = €0.74)
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By: Franco Capaldo
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