25 February 2010 12:39 [Source: ICIS news]
LUDWIGSHAFEN (ICIS news)--BASF will outpace global chemical production as its sales grow in 2010, the chairman of the German chemical major said at the company’s annual press conference on Thursday.
Jurgen Hambrecht said that global industrial production was likely to grow by 4.9% and that slow recovery was continuing.
“The fourth quarter was encouraging and gives us grounds for confidence. The worst is behind us, even though dark clouds remain,” said Hambrecht.
He added that the majority of growth would be coming from the emerging economies in Asia, especially ?xml:namespace>
“The economy is still sputtering in Europe and
Hambrecht added that there were further risks associated with geopolitical tensions and a trend towards protectionism.
On a positive note, he said that BASF has seen growth in most of its customer industries, with the automotive, IT and electronics industries taking the lead.
Only the construction industry gave grounds for concern, which was due to a decline in that sector in the
“Because the economic situation remains fragile, we will continue to rigorously implement our efficiency and structuring programmes. We will also continue to adjust our investment plans to the current market conditions,” said Hambrecht.
BASF swung to a net profit of €455m ($615m) in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with a loss of €313m in the 2008 fourth quarter.
The company's fourth-quarter sales were down 7.9% at €13.17bn. Sales volumes in the quarter were higher than in the same period in 2008 and for the first time in 2009, although the 2008 fourth quarter was hit hard by the economic crisis, BASF said.
($1 = €0.74)
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